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All Seth Rogen Movies, Ranked By Tomatometer

One-season wonder Freaks and Geeks had a startling amount of its young alums go on to have successful Hollywood careers, Seth Rogen chief among them. He followed mentor Judd Apatow into the movie game with The 40 Year-Old Virgin, starring in a memorable supporting role. Rogen was then upgraded to lead status for Apatow’s follow-up Knocked Up, and the movie’s critical and box office success showed Virgin was no fluke, heralding a significant sea change in mainstream American comedy. Rogen has remained the face of this bong- and bro-tastic style of comedy, also featuring big rips of heartfelt emotion – like Animal House by way of James L. Brooks – in repeated movie hits like Superbad, Pineapple Express, This Is the End, Neighbors, and The Disaster Artist.

He’s been amassing an impressive résumé as producer (not just on his own starring films, but also the likes of Blockers and Good Boys) and director, helming This Is the End, The Interview, and episodes of Future Man and Preacher. His latest comedy was An American Pickle. And now we’re looking at all of Seth Rogen’s movies, ranked by Tomatometer!

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 14708%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Compson family struggles to adjust to the changes in society during the early 20th century in the Deep South.... [More]
Directed By: James Franco

#31

Zeroville (2019)
23%

#31
Adjusted Score: 23035%
Critics Consensus: Potentially an ironic favorite for cult film fans, Zeroville is a fundamentally misguided -- and descriptively titled -- passion project for its director and star.
Synopsis: With two tattoos of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor on his shaved head, Vikar rides a bus into Hollywood and... [More]
Directed By: James Franco

#30

The Guilt Trip (2012)
37%

#30
Adjusted Score: 41025%
Critics Consensus: Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand have enough chemistry to drive a solidly assembled comedy; unfortunately, The Guilt Trip has a lemon of a script and is perilously low on comedic fuel.
Synopsis: Before embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime road trip, Andy Brewster pays a visit to his overbearing mother, Joyce. That proves to... [More]
Directed By: Anne Fletcher

#29

The Green Hornet (2011)
44%

#29
Adjusted Score: 53339%
Critics Consensus: It's sporadically entertaining, but The Green Hornet never approaches the surreal heights suggested by a Michel Gondry/Seth Rogen collaboration.
Synopsis: Britt Reid (Seth Rogen), the heir to the largest newspaper fortune in Los Angeles, is a spoiled playboy who has... [More]
Directed By: Michel Gondry

#28

The Interview (2014)
51%

#28
Adjusted Score: 55950%
Critics Consensus: Unfortunately overshadowed by controversy (and under-screened as a result), The Interview's screenplay offers middling laughs bolstered by its two likable leads.
Synopsis: Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) are the team behind the popular tabloid-TV show "Skylark... [More]
Directed By: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 59740%
Critics Consensus: Though it has a mean streak, and does not cater to all tastes, Observe and Report has gut-busting laughs and a fully committed Seth Rogen in irresistible form.
Synopsis: As head of security at the Forest Ridge Mall, Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen) takes his job very seriously, enforcing mall... [More]
Directed By: Jody Hill

#26

The Lion King (2019)
52%

#26
Adjusted Score: 78227%
Critics Consensus: While it can take pride in its visual achievements,The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved--though for some fans that may just be enough.
Synopsis: Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny on the plains of Africa. But... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 60414%
Critics Consensus: Brisk, funny, and sweetly raunchy, For a Good Time, Call... adds to the recent string of R-rated female comedies while serving as an overdue coming out party for the charming Ari Graynor.
Synopsis: Reserved Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) and bubbly Katie (Ari Graynor) are polar opposites and past enemies. However, when both gals... [More]
Directed By: Jamie Travis

#24
Adjusted Score: 75833%
Critics Consensus: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising may not be strictly necessary, but it still wrings a surprising amount of humor from a recycled premise with a distaff twist.
Synopsis: Life is good for Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and pregnant wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) until the unruly sisters of Kappa... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#23
Adjusted Score: 73012%
Critics Consensus: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.
Synopsis: Lifelong friends and now roommates, Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are buried under a mountain of debt. When... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 76191%
Critics Consensus: Both funny and scattershot, this loose-knit action/buddy/stoner comedy bridges genres and keeps a steady tempo of low-ball laughs.
Synopsis: Stoner Dale Denton's (Seth Rogen) enjoyment of a rare strain of marijuana may prove fatal when he drops his roach... [More]
Directed By: David Gordon Green

#21

Funny People (2009)
69%

#21
Adjusted Score: 77832%
Critics Consensus: Funny People features the requisite humor, as well as considerable emotional depth, resulting in Judd Apatow's most mature film to date.
Synopsis: Recently learning that he has a fatal disease, comic George Simmons (Adam Sandler) spots a struggling performer named Ira (Seth... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#20

The Night Before (2015)
69%

#20
Adjusted Score: 74217%
Critics Consensus: The Night Before provokes enough belly laughs to qualify as a worthwhile addition to the list of Christmas comedies worth revisiting, even if it isn't quite as consistent as the classics.
Synopsis: For the last 10 years, lifelong buddies Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have gathered on... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

#19

Paul (2011)

#19
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: For the past 60 years, a wisecracking alien named Paul (Seth Rogen) has resided at a top-secret military base in... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 83247%
Critics Consensus: An American Pickle lacks the tart snap viewers might expect given its creative premise, but Seth Rogen's dual performance makes this a low-key comedy to relish.
Synopsis: Preserved in pickle brine for 100 years, an Orthodox Jewish factory worker wakes up in New York City and tracks... [More]
Directed By: Brandon Trost

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a meteor full of space gunk transforms Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) into a giant, the government renames her Ginormica... [More]

#16

Neighbors (2014)
73%

#16
Adjusted Score: 81521%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of bawdy humor evenly spread between its well-matched stars, Neighbors earns its R rating -- and filmgoers' laughs.
Synopsis: New parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) move to the suburbs when they welcome an infant daughter into... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#15

Take This Waltz (2011)
79%

#15
Adjusted Score: 83634%
Critics Consensus: Featuring excellent work from an outstanding cast, the bittersweet drama Waltz proves that in the right hands, a familiar tale can still ring true.
Synopsis: A young woman (Michelle Williams) is torn between the husband (Seth Rogen) that she loves and a new man (Luke... [More]
Directed By: Sarah Polley

#14
Adjusted Score: 84142%
Critics Consensus: Horton Hears A Who! is both whimsical and heartwarming, and is the rare Dr. Seuss adaptation that stays true to the spirit of the source material.
Synopsis: Animated elephant Horton (Jim Carrey) finds a speck of dust floating in the Jungle of Nool. Upon investigation of the... [More]

#13
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Of the three Grace children, Jared (Freddie Highmore) has always been thought of as the troublemaker. So when strange things... [More]
Directed By: Mark Waters

#12

Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
81%

#12
Adjusted Score: 86841%
Critics Consensus: The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy, and visual sparkle to compensate.
Synopsis: Now known as the Dragon Warrior, Po (Jack Black) protects the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

#11

Long Shot (2019)
81%

#11
Adjusted Score: 99821%
Critics Consensus: A sharp and deceptively layered comedy that's further fueled by the odd couple chemistry of its leads, this Long Shot largely hits its marks.
Synopsis: Fred Flarsky is a gifted and free-spirited journalist who has a knack for getting into trouble. Charlotte Field is one... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

#10

Sausage Party (2016)
82%

#10
Adjusted Score: 95817%
Critics Consensus: Sausage Party is definitely offensive, but backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high laugh-to-gag ratio -- and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline.
Synopsis: Life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank (Seth Rogen) the... [More]

#9

This Is the End (2013)
83%

#9
Adjusted Score: 91205%
Critics Consensus: Energetic, self-deprecating performances and enough guffaw-inducing humor make up for the flaws in This Is the End loosely written script.
Synopsis: In Hollywood, actor James Franco is throwing a party with a slew of celebrity pals. Among those in attendance are... [More]
Directed By: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 92447%
Critics Consensus: Steve Carell's first star turn scores big with a tender treatment of its titular underdog, using raunchy but realistically funny comedy to connect with adult audiences.
Synopsis: Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is an amiable single guy who works at a big-box store. Living alone, 40-year-old Andy spends... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#7

Steve Jobs (2015)
85%

#7
Adjusted Score: 98216%
Critics Consensus: Like the tech giant co-founded by its subject, Steve Jobs gathers brilliant people to deliver a product whose elegance belies the intricate complexities at its core.
Synopsis: With public anticipation running high, Apple Inc. co-founders Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and Steve "Woz" Wozniak get ready to unveil... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#6

Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
87%

#6
Adjusted Score: 96901%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Living large and loving life, Po (Jack Black) realizes that he has a lot to learn if he's going to... [More]

#5

Kung Fu Panda (2008)
87%

#5
Adjusted Score: 94513%
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.
Synopsis: Po the panda (Jack Black) works in his family's noodle shop and dreams of becoming a kung-fu master. His dream... [More]

#4

Superbad (2007)
88%

#4
Adjusted Score: 96000%
Critics Consensus: Deftly balancing vulgarity and sincerity while placing its protagonists in excessive situations, Superbad is an authentic take on friendship and the overarching awkwardness of the high school experience.
Synopsis: High-school seniors Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) have high hopes for a graduation party: The co-dependent teens plan... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

#3

Knocked Up (2007)
89%

#3
Adjusted Score: 100057%
Critics Consensus: Knocked Up is a hilarious, poignant and refreshing look at the rigors of courtship and child-rearing, with a sometimes raunchy, yet savvy script that is ably acted and directed.
Synopsis: Rising journalist Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) hits a serious bump in the road after a one-night stand with irresponsible slacker... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 116545%
Critics Consensus: Oh, hai Mark. The Disaster Artist is a surprisingly poignant and charming movie-about-a-movie that explores the creative process with unexpected delicacy.
Synopsis: The incredible true story of aspiring filmmaker and Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau as he and his best friend defiantly pursue... [More]
Directed By: James Franco

#1

50/50 (2011)

#1
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has always tried to take good care of his health, so it comes as a cruel... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

Thumbnail image: Columbia Pictures, Universal / courtesy Everett Collection 

The 200 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time

Hooking up? No problem. “Meet cute” at the book shop? Happens all the time. Finding the right one, falling in love, and getting married? What else are you gonna do? But compiling the ultimate list of the Freshest romantic comedies of all time? It’s complicated.

For our list of the 200 best romantic comedies of all time, we searched high and low throughout movie history for every permutation of (hilarious) courtship and love captured on camera. We have the dazzling wit of the early studio system (His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby), the realistic cynicism of the ’70s (Annie Hall, The Goodbye Girl), and the sweeping romance in-between (The ApartmentRoman Holiday). There was plenty to find in the John Hughes, teen-driven era (Say Anything…, Pretty in Pink), and the bubbly ’90s decade that followed (Groundhog Day, Four Weddings and a Funeral, While You Were Sleeping). Then we dabbled in 21st century raunch (Knocked Up) and twee ((500) Days of Summer), leading into our current era of new voices declaring that they too are entitled to their own messy relationship stories (The Big Sick, Crazy Rich Asians).

And in our most recent major update, we’ve added the latest and greatest, including Charlize Theron’s first dip into the genre (Long Shot), indie darlings (Palm Springs), and the farcical (Isn’t It Romantic). We also expanded our reach in LGBTQ (Happiest Season, Edge of Seventeen, Get Real, Life Partners, Saving Face) and African-American films (Top Five, The Best Man). And expect to see more international rom-coms, with plenty of additions among Spanish-language (You’re Killing Me Susana, Everybody Loves Somebody) and French cinema (Romantics Anonymous, The Spanish Apartment).

The only stipulation for a rom-com to get a shot at love on this list was achieving a minimum of 20 reviews, and then we sorted the qualifying titles with our weighted formula, which takes into account factors like the number of reviews movies received and their year of release. And because we want you feeling red, and not seeing red, we want to prepare you for some of the relatively low placements for beloved classics like Pretty Woman, Love Actually, and Sleepless in Seattle. The Tomatometer, just like the heart, does not deceive.

Ready to dive into the sea of love? Then continue on with open arms into Rotten Tomatoes’ 200 best romantic comedies of all time!

#200

Wimbledon (2004)
61%

#200
Adjusted Score: 65036%
Critics Consensus: A predictable, bland rom-com, but Bettany proves to be an appealing lead.
Synopsis: Frustrated at his own failures and disillusioned with professional sports, tennis player Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) resolves to retire from... [More]
Directed By: Richard Loncraine

#199

Down With Love (2003)
60%

#199
Adjusted Score: 66071%
Critics Consensus: Looks great, but Zellweger and McGregor have no chemistry together, and the self-satisfied, knowing tone grates.
Synopsis: It's 1962, and feminist Barbara Novak (Renée Zellweger) pens a best-selling book that details the drawbacks of love. She encourages... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#198
#198
Adjusted Score: 65080%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Antoine, a lawyer from New York, travels back to France for a final round of job interviews. He is shocked... [More]
Directed By: Alexandre Castagnetti

#197

Return to Me (2000)
62%

#197
Adjusted Score: 65431%
Critics Consensus: David Duchovny and Minnie Driver provide heart-warming romance and comedy in this solid debut by Director Bonnie Hunt.
Synopsis: Heartbroken and struggling emotionally after his wife's death in a car accident, Bob Rueland (David Duchovny) agrees to go on... [More]
Directed By: Bonnie Hunt

#196

Chocolat (2000)
62%

#196
Adjusted Score: 66184%
Critics Consensus: Chocolat is a charmingly light-hearted fable with a lovely performance by Binoche.
Synopsis: When mysterious Vianne and her child arrive in a tranquil French town in the winter of 1959, no one could... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallström

#195

Big Eden (2000)
64%

#195
Adjusted Score: 65348%
Critics Consensus: Though unrealistic, Big Eden has all the charm and sweetness of a fairy tale.
Synopsis: Henry Hart (Arye Gross) is a young gay artist living in New York City. When his grandfather has a stroke,... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Bezucha

#194
#194
Adjusted Score: 66086%
Critics Consensus: Though formulaic and superficial, Under the Tuscan Sun is redeemed by Lane's vibrant performance.
Synopsis: When Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) learns her husband is cheating on her from a writer whom she gave a bad... [More]
Directed By: Audrey Wells

#193

Sliding Doors (1998)
65%

#193
Adjusted Score: 66492%
Critics Consensus: Despite the gimmicky feel of the split narratives, the movie is watch-able due to the winning performances by the cast.
Synopsis: When Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow), a London ad executive, is fired from her job and rushes out to catch a train,... [More]
Directed By: Peter Howitt

#192
#192
Adjusted Score: 66598%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When Johnny (Al Pacino) is released from prison following a forgery charge, he quickly lands a job as a short-order... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

#191

Life Partners (2014)
68%

#191
Adjusted Score: 67657%
Critics Consensus: With two appealing leads adrift in a sitcom-worthy plot, Life Partners doesn't do quite enough to earn viewers' commitment.
Synopsis: A 29-year-old lawyer (Gillian Jacobs) and her lesbian best friend (Leighton Meester) experience a dramatic shift in their longtime bond... [More]
Directed By: Susanna Fogel

#190

Pretty Woman (1990)
65%

#190
Adjusted Score: 69173%
Critics Consensus: Pretty Woman may be a yuppie fantasy, but the film's slick comedy, soundtrack, and casting can overcome misgivings.
Synopsis: In this modern update on Cinderella, a prostitute and a wealthy businessman fall hard for one another, forming an unlikely... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

#189

Sabrina (1995)
63%

#189
Adjusted Score: 65805%
Critics Consensus: Sydney Pollack's Sabrina doesn't do anything the original didn't do better, but assured direction and a cast of seasoned stars make this a pleasant enough diversion.
Synopsis: Sabrina Fairchild (Julia Ormond) is a chauffeur's daughter who grew up with the wealthy Larrabee family. She always had unreciprocated... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#188

Brown Sugar (2002)
66%

#188
Adjusted Score: 68266%
Critics Consensus: Though predictable and possibly too sweet, Brown Sugar is charming, well-acted, and smarter than typical rom-com fare.
Synopsis: Sidney (Sanaa Lathan) and Dre (Taye Diggs) can attribute their friendship and the launch of their careers to one single... [More]
Directed By: Rick Famuyiwa

#187
#187
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: With four beautiful daughters of marrying age, Manorama (Nadira Babbar) and Chaman Bakshi (Anupam Kher) frantically seek out the perfect... [More]
Directed By: Gurinder Chadha

#186

Music and Lyrics (2007)
63%

#186
Adjusted Score: 69038%
Critics Consensus: Music & Lyrics is a light and pleasant romantic comedy that succeeds because of the considerable charm of its co-stars. The music segments featuring Hugh Grant are worth the price of admission.
Synopsis: Former music superstar Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) used to pack them in back in the 1980s, but now he is... [More]
Directed By: Marc Lawrence

#185
#185
Adjusted Score: 67962%
Critics Consensus: Sleeping with Other People has likable leads and flashes of inspiration, but seems unwilling or unable to surround them with the truly subversive rom-com they deserve.
Synopsis: Twelve years after a one-night stand, a man (Jason Sudeikis) and a woman (Alison Brie) run into each other and... [More]
Directed By: Leslye Headland

#184

Chances Are (1989)
67%

#184
Adjusted Score: 67910%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man's love for his pregnant wife, Corinne Jeffries (Cybill Shepherd), is interrupted when a car accident sends him to... [More]
Directed By: Emile Ardolino

#183

Laggies (2014)
65%

#183
Adjusted Score: 68498%
Critics Consensus: Laggies may not do as much with its ideas as it could, but it's buoyed by a winsome performance from Kiera Knightley, as well as Lynn Shelton's empathetic direction.
Synopsis: When 28-year-old Megan (Keira Knightley) attends her 10-year high-school reunion, she realizes that very little in her life has changed.... [More]
Directed By: Lynn Shelton

#182

Jeffrey (1995)
68%

#182
Adjusted Score: 68175%
Critics Consensus: Jeffrey offends as readily as it amuses, but an outstanding performance from Patrick Stewart keeps it from going completely off the rails.
Synopsis: Jeffrey (Steven Weber), a gay man living in New York City with an overwhelming fear of contracting AIDS, concludes that... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Ashley

#181
#181
Adjusted Score: 70426%
Critics Consensus: While certainly overlong, The Five-Year Engagement benefits from the easy chemistry of its leads and a funny, romantic script with surprising depth and intelligence.
Synopsis: On their one-year anniversary, sous chef Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) plans to surprise his girlfriend, Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt), with... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#180
#180
Adjusted Score: 70133%
Critics Consensus: 2 Days in New York breezes past its shortcomings thanks to an enjoyably madcap plot and the sweet chemistry between its well-matched stars.
Synopsis: A happily married man's (Chris Rock) sanity is pushed to the limit when his wife's (Julie Delpy) crazed, over-sexed French... [More]
Directed By: Julie Delpy

#179

Heartbreaker (2010)
68%

#179
Adjusted Score: 70403%
Critics Consensus: While definitely on the fluffier side of French comedy, Heartbreaker benefits from never taking itself too seriously -- and from the performance of the ever-charming Romain Duris.
Synopsis: Alex (Romain Duris) is a successful entrepreneur in a business he himself pioneered: Hire him, and he'll seduce any woman... [More]
Directed By: Pascal Chaumeil

#178

13 Going on 30 (2004)
65%

#178
Adjusted Score: 71441%
Critics Consensus: Although the plot leaves a lot to be desired, 13 Going on 30 will tug at your inner teenager's heartstrings thanks in large part to a dazzling performance from Jennifer Garner.
Synopsis: A girl who's sick of the social strictures of junior high is transformed into a grownup overnight. In this feel-good... [More]
Directed By: Gary Winick

#177

Doc Hollywood (1991)
67%

#177
Adjusted Score: 70387%
Critics Consensus: Doc Hollywood isn't particularly graceful in its attempt to put a '90s spin on its Capraesque formula, but a light touch and a charming cast make its flaws easy to forgive.
Synopsis: Cocky young doctor Ben Stone (Michael J. Fox) is off on a road trip to California in pursuit of a... [More]
Directed By: Michael Caton-Jones

#176
#176
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is the prince of a wealthy African country and wants for nothing, except a wife who... [More]
Directed By: John Landis

#175
Adjusted Score: 70062%
Critics Consensus: Faultless production and shining performances display the Bard's talent propitiously.
Synopsis: This version of the renowned comedic play finds the world of humans intersecting with the realm of magic. The lovely... [More]
Directed By: Michael Hoffman

#174

Reality Bites (1994)
64%

#174
Adjusted Score: 67671%
Critics Consensus: Reality Bites may be too slick to fulfill its promise as a profound statement on Generation X, but an appealing ensemble and romantic sizzle make for an entertaining dive into the ennui of youth.
Synopsis: After college, Lelaina (Winona Ryder) films a documentary about herself and friends as they flounder in their attempts to forge... [More]
Directed By: Ben Stiller

#173

Love Actually (2003)
64%

#173
Adjusted Score: 71838%
Critics Consensus: A sugary tale overstuffed with too many stories. Still, the cast charms.
Synopsis: Nine intertwined stories examine the complexities of the one emotion that connects us all: love. Among the characters explored are... [More]
Directed By: Richard Curtis

#172

Fever Pitch (2005)
65%

#172
Adjusted Score: 71760%
Critics Consensus: While not a home run, Fever Pitch has enough charm and on-screen chemistry between the two leads to make it a solid hit.
Synopsis: When Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon), a young teacher, begins dating pretty businesswoman Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), the two don't seem... [More]

#171
#171
Adjusted Score: 72062%
Critics Consensus: Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger add strong performances to an unexpectedly clever script, elevating 10 Things (slightly) above typical teen fare.
Synopsis: Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) is beautiful, smart and quite abrasive to most of her fellow teens, meaning that she doesn't... [More]
Directed By: Gil Junger

#170
#170
Adjusted Score: 72204%
Critics Consensus: It's decidedly uneven -- and surprisingly sappy for an early Adam Sandler comedy -- but The Wedding Singer is also sweet, funny, and beguiling.
Synopsis: Set in 1985, Adam Sandler plays a nice guy with a broken heart who's stuck in one of the most... [More]
Directed By: Frank Coraci

#169
#169
Adjusted Score: 73277%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An actor's (Gael García Bernal) world comes crashing down after he learns that his wife (Verónica Echegui) has left him... [More]
Directed By: Roberto Sneider

#168
#168
Adjusted Score: 72204%
Critics Consensus: Sharp, shrewd, and funny, Friends with Kids features excellent performances that help smooth over some of the story's more conventional elements.
Synopsis: In the wake of their friends' marriages and eventual offspring, longtime pals Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) and Jason (Adam Scott) decide... [More]
Directed By: Jennifer Westfeldt

#167

The Lovebirds (2020)
66%

#167
Adjusted Score: 76921%
Critics Consensus: If the breezily enjoyable The Lovebirds feels like a little less than the sum of its parts, it's still an enjoyable showcase for the talents of its well-matched stars.
Synopsis: Accused of murder, a desperate couple embark on a dangerous quest to solve the mystery and clear their names.... [More]
Directed By: Michael Showalter

#166
#166
Adjusted Score: 73012%
Critics Consensus: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a modest success for Kevin Smith, due in large part to the charm of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.
Synopsis: Lifelong friends and now roommates, Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) are buried under a mountain of debt. When... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#165

Russian Dolls (2005)
72%

#165
Adjusted Score: 73240%
Critics Consensus: Like its predecessor L'Auberge Espagnole, Russian Dolls is charmingly breezy and light.
Synopsis: A struggling writer (Romain Duris) becomes involved with two women while juggling assignments in Paris.... [More]
Directed By: Cédric Klapisch

#164
#164
Adjusted Score: 73229%
Critics Consensus: A dramedy featuring an unusual love triangle, Keeping the Faith is a perceptive look at how religion affects us in everyday life.
Synopsis: Best friends since they were kids, Rabbi Jacob Schram (Ben Stiller) and Father Brian Finn (Edward Norton) are dynamic and... [More]
Directed By: Edward Norton

#163
#163
Adjusted Score: 73343%
Critics Consensus: The Best Man Holiday manages honest laughs out of broad humor, and affects convincing drama from a deeply conventional plot.
Synopsis: Nearly 15 years after they were last together as a group, college friends Lance (Morris Chestnut), Harper (Taye Diggs), Candace... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

#162

Tin Cup (1996)
72%

#162
Adjusted Score: 73794%
Critics Consensus: Breezy and predictable, Tin Cup is a likeable sports comedy that benefits greatly from Kevin Costner's amiable lead performance.
Synopsis: Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) was a golf pro with a bright future, but his rebellious nature and bad attitude cost... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#161

In & Out (1997)
71%

#161
Adjusted Score: 72813%
Critics Consensus: It doesn't always find comfortable ground between broad comedy and social commentary, but lively performances -- especially from Kevin Kline and Joan Cusack -- enrich In & Out's mixture of laughs and sexual tolerance.
Synopsis: Upon winning an Academy Award, actor Cameron Drake (Matt Dillon) honors his high school teacher, Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline), who... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#160

The Best Man (1999)
72%

#160
Adjusted Score: 73651%
Critics Consensus: With a strong cast and a host of well-defined characters, The Best Man is an intelligent, funny romantic comedy that marks an impressive debut for writer/director Malcolm D. Lee.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee

#159

Popular (2012)
73%

#159
Adjusted Score: 73776%
Critics Consensus: The cheerfully frothy Populaire may lack substance, but its visual appeal -- and director Roinsard's confident evocation of 1950s filmmaking tropes -- help carry the day.
Synopsis: An insurance agent (Romain Duris) and his new secretary (Déborah François) become locked in the grip of romance and competition... [More]
Directed By: Régis Roinsard

#158
#158
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Struggling boutique bookseller Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) hates Joe Fox (Tom Hanks), the owner of a corporate Foxbooks chain store... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron

#157

Liberal Arts (2012)
71%

#157
Adjusted Score: 75415%
Critics Consensus: While it's hard not to wish it had a little more bite, Liberal Arts ultimately succeeds as a good-natured -- and surprisingly clever -- look at the addictive pull of nostalgia for our youth.
Synopsis: A New York college adviser (Josh Radnor) becomes involved with a student (Elizabeth Olsen) when he returns to his alma... [More]
Directed By: Josh Radnor

#156

About Time (2013)
69%

#156
Adjusted Score: 75245%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed and unabashedly sincere, About Time finds director Richard Curtis at his most sentimental.
Synopsis: When Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a secret: The men in their family... [More]
Directed By: Richard Curtis

#155

Hitch (2005)
69%

#155
Adjusted Score: 75402%
Critics Consensus: Despite Hitch's predictability, Will Smith and Kevin James win praise for their solid, warmhearted performances.
Synopsis: Dating coach Alex "Hitch" Hitchens (Will Smith) mentors a bumbling client, Albert (Kevin James), who hopes to win the heart... [More]
Directed By: Andy Tennant

#154

Anchor and Hope (2017)
76%

#154
Adjusted Score: 75864%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A lesbian couple's plan to solicit a friend to be their sperm donor brings surprising changes for all three of... [More]
Directed By: Carlos Marques-Marcet

#153
#153
Adjusted Score: 75631%
Critics Consensus: With a clever script and charismatic leads, Definitely, Maybe is a refreshing entry into the romantic comedy genre.
Synopsis: Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds), a thirtysomething Manhattanite, is in the middle of divorce proceedings when his young daughter (Abigail Breslin)... [More]
Directed By: Adam Brooks

#152
#152
Adjusted Score: 75403%
Critics Consensus: While it doesn't subvert the genre as incisively as it thinks it does, Celeste and Jesse Forever is a shrewd rom-com that benefits from its likable cast and trumpets the arrival of Rashida Jones as a bona fide big screen talent.
Synopsis: Longtime sweethearts Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) married young, but are now drifting apart. Celeste is an ambitious... [More]
Directed By: Lee Toland Krieger

#151
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Childhood friends Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts) and Michael O'Neal (Dermot Mulroney) had a deal to marry each other if they... [More]
Directed By: P.J. Hogan

#150
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When aging womanizer Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) and his young girlfriend, Marin (Amanda Peet), arrive at her family's beach house... [More]
Directed By: Nancy Meyers

#149

Twelfth Night (1996)
76%

#149
Adjusted Score: 77199%
Critics Consensus: Director Trevor Nunn makes some questionable choices, but his stellar cast -- which includes Helena Bonham-Carter, Ben Kingsley, and Nigel Hawthorne -- more than rises to the material.
Synopsis: A shipwreck separates Viola (Imogen Stubbs) from her twin brother, Sebastian (Steven Mackintosh). Believing him to be dead, Viola disguises... [More]
Directed By: Trevor Nunn

#148
#148
Adjusted Score: 80816%
Critics Consensus: It follows as many genre conventions as it mocks, but Isn't It Romantic is a feel-good rom-com with some satirical bite -- and a star well-suited for both.
Synopsis: Natalie is a New York architect who works hard to get noticed at her job, but is more likely to... [More]
Directed By: Todd Strauss-Schulson

#147
#147
Adjusted Score: 89492%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Young and beautiful Clara Barron (Karla Souza) seems to have it all -- a great job, a beautiful house in... [More]

#146
Adjusted Score: 80345%
Critics Consensus: To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You may feel like little more than an amiable postscript to its predecessor, but fans of the original should still find this a swoonworthy sequel.
Synopsis: As her relationship with Peter continues to grow, Lara Jean reunites with another recipient of one of her old love... [More]
Directed By: Michael Fimognari

#145

Euro Pudding (2002)

#145
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Xavier (Romain Duris) is a French university student who moves to Barcelona, Spain, to learn Spanish in order to score... [More]
Directed By: Cédric Klapisch

#144

Baby Boom (1987)
68%

#144
Adjusted Score: 71225%
Critics Consensus: Baby Boom struggles to impart its feminist ideals, but Diane Keaton's winsome leading work helps keep things breezily entertaining.
Synopsis: J.C. Wiatt (Diane Keaton) is a New York City businesswoman who is married to her job and has a relationship... [More]
Directed By: Charles Shyer

#143
#143
Adjusted Score: 79552%
Critics Consensus: A time capsule assembled with honesty and sensitivity, Edge of Seventeen overcomes youthful fumbles to capture a time of life -- and an era.
Synopsis: Set in 1984 in Sandusky, Ohio, it follows the coming-out of a naive 17-year-old at exactly the moment when gender-bending... [More]
Directed By: David Moreton

#142

Trick (1999)

#142
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: It's lust at first sight when Gabriel (Christian Campbell), a songwriter with Broadway ambitions, runs into Mark (John Paul Pitoc),... [More]
Directed By: Jim Fall

#141

Better Off Dead (1985)
76%

#141
Adjusted Score: 77437%
Critics Consensus: Better Off Dead is an anarchic mix of black humor and surreal comedy, anchored by John Cusack's winsome, charming performance.
Synopsis: Lane Meyer (John Cusack) is a teen with a peculiar family and a bizarre fixation with his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda... [More]
Directed By: Savage Steve Holland

#140
#140
Adjusted Score: 78830%
Critics Consensus: Undeniably slight and fluffy, Love Is All You Need is redeemed by its picturesque setting and warm performances by Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm.
Synopsis: In Italy for her daughter's (Molly Blixt Egelind) wedding, a woman (Trine Dyrholm) bonds with her future in-law (Pierce Brosnan).... [More]
Directed By: Susanne Bier

#139

Benny & Joon (1993)
76%

#139
Adjusted Score: 77973%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Benny (Aidan Quinn), who cares for his mentally disturbed sister, Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), also welcomes the eccentric Sam (Johnny... [More]
Directed By: Jeremiah S. Chechik

#138

What If (2013)
74%

#138
Adjusted Score: 78318%
Critics Consensus: Its narrative framework may be familiar, but What If transcends its derivative elements with sharp dialogue and the effervescent chemistry of stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.
Synopsis: A medical-school dropout (Daniel Radcliffe) tries to hide his attraction to his new friend (Zoe Kazan), a bubbly artist who... [More]
Directed By: Michael Dowse

#137
#137
Adjusted Score: 78891%
Critics Consensus: Though it sometimes feels like a television sitcom, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is good-hearted, lovable, and delightfully eccentric, with a sharp script and lead performance from Nia Vardalos.
Synopsis: Everyone in the Portokalos family worries about Toula (Nia Vardalos). Still unmarried at 30 years old, she works at Dancing... [More]
Directed By: Joel Zwick

#136
#136
Adjusted Score: 79816%
Critics Consensus: Sleepless in Seattle is a cute classic with a very light touch and real chemistry between the two leads -- even when spending an entire movie apart.
Synopsis: After the death of his wife, Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) moves to Seattle with his son, Jonah (Ross Mallinger). When... [More]
Directed By: Nora Ephron

#135

Fighters (2014)
79%

#135
Adjusted Score: 79523%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A small-town man (Kévin Azaïs) falls in love with an apocalyptic-minded woman (Adèle Haenel) and joins her at boot camp... [More]
Directed By: Thomas Cailley

#134

Yesterday (2019)
63%

#134
Adjusted Score: 85481%
Critics Consensus: Yesterday may fall short of fab, but the end result is still a sweetly charming fantasy with an intriguing -- albeit somewhat under-explored -- premise.
Synopsis: Jack Malik is a struggling singer-songwriter in an English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#133

Pretty in Pink (1986)
73%

#133
Adjusted Score: 78072%
Critics Consensus: Molly Ringwald gives an outstanding performance in this sweet, intelligent teen comedy that takes an ancient premise and injects it with insight and wit.
Synopsis: Andie (Molly Ringwald) is an outcast at her Chicago high school, hanging out either with her older boss (Annie Potts),... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#132

Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
78%

#132
Adjusted Score: 78796%
Critics Consensus: Mighty Aphrodite may not stand with Woody Allen's finest work, but it's brought to vivid life by a thoroughly winsome performance from Mira Sorvino.
Synopsis: When Lenny (Woody Allen) and his wife, Amanda (Helena Bonham Carter), adopt a baby, Lenny realizes that his son is... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#131

Muriel's Wedding (1994)
79%

#131
Adjusted Score: 81405%
Critics Consensus: Heartfelt and quirky, though at times broad, Muriel's Wedding mixes awkward comedy, oddball Australian characters, and a nostalgia-heavy soundtrack.
Synopsis: Socially awkward Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette) wants nothing more than to get married. Unfortunately, due to her oppressive politician father... [More]
Directed By: P.J. Hogan

#130

Get Real (1998)

#130
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Steven (Ben Silverstone) spends his school days longing for all-star athlete John (Brad Gorton). But John has a gorgeous girlfriend,... [More]
Directed By: Simon Shore

#129

Go Fish (1994)
75%

#129
Adjusted Score: 78304%
Critics Consensus: With sensitive direction from Rose Troche and terrific work from co-writer/star Guinevere Turner, Go Fish plays a winning hand.
Synopsis: After leaving behind her girlfriend to attend college in Chicago, young lesbian Max West (Guinevere Turner) is introduced to Ely... [More]
Directed By: Rose Troche

#128

Chinese Puzzle (2013)
79%

#128
Adjusted Score: 80101%
Critics Consensus: Pleasantly easygoing and consistently funny, Chinese Puzzle offers a suitably endearing conclusion to Cédric Klapisch's Trilogy of Xavier.
Synopsis: A 40-year-old divorced father of two cannot cope with his children moving to New York with their mother, so he... [More]
Directed By: Cédric Klapisch

#127
Adjusted Score: 81384%
Critics Consensus: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist combines a pair of charming leads, a classic New York backdrop, and a sweet soundtrack.
Synopsis: Nick (Michael Cera) cannot stop obsessing over his ex-girlfriend, Tris (Alexis Dziena), until Tris' friend Norah (Kat Dennings) suddenly shows... [More]
Directed By: Peter Sollett

#126

Wedding Crashers (2005)
76%

#126
Adjusted Score: 82402%
Critics Consensus: Wedding Crashers is both raunchy and sweet, and features top-notch comic performances from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
Synopsis: Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) and John (Owen Wilson) are divorce mediators who spend their free time crashing wedding receptions. For the... [More]
Directed By: David Dobkin

#125

Man Up (2015)
80%

#125
Adjusted Score: 84324%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to fine performances from Lake Bell and Simon Pegg, Man Up largely strikes the deceptively difficult balance between romance and comedy.
Synopsis: When a man (Simon Pegg) mistakes her for his blind date, a woman (Lake Bell) decides to play along to... [More]
Directed By: Ben Palmer

#124

Singles (1992)
79%

#124
Adjusted Score: 83135%
Critics Consensus: Smart, funny, and engagingly scruffy, Singles is a clear-eyed look at modern romance that doubles as a credible grunge-era time capsule.
Synopsis: In Seattle during the era of grunge music, the lives and relationships of a group of young people, all living... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#123
Adjusted Score: 81784%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a woman fails to show up for their date, an artist (Terence Nance) ponders the divide between romantic and... [More]
Directed By: Terence Nance

#122

A Faithful Man (2018)
81%

#122
Adjusted Score: 82738%
Critics Consensus: A Faithful Man's lack of tonal commitment may frustrate, but the end results should still prove entertaining for viewers in the mood for a French romantic farce.
Synopsis: A man experiences unanticipated joys and heartbreaks after his wife leaves him for his best friend. When the couple reunites... [More]
Directed By: Louis Garrel

#121
#121
Adjusted Score: 83815%
Critics Consensus: While You Were Sleeping is built wholly from familiar ingredients, but assembled with such skill -- and with such a charming performance from Sandra Bullock -- that it gives formula a good name.
Synopsis: Lonely transit worker Lucy Eleanor Moderatz (Sandra Bullock) pulls her longtime crush, Peter (Peter Gallagher), from the path of an... [More]
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub

#120

Priceless (2006)
82%

#120
Adjusted Score: 84497%
Critics Consensus: Priceless is a light, farcical rom-com that features sharp performances from Audrey Tautou and Gad Elmaleh.
Synopsis: Irène (Audrey Tautou) loves nice things and loves to have wealthy men pay for them. One night, she mistakes Jean... [More]
Directed By: Pierre Salvadori

#119
#119
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of the satirical British novel, Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale), a plucky London society girl orphaned at age... [More]
Directed By: John Schlesinger

#118

Valley Girl (1983)
83%

#118
Adjusted Score: 85175%
Critics Consensus: With engaging performances from its two leads, Valley Girl is a goofy yet amiable film that both subverts and celebrates the cheerful superficiality of teen comedies.
Synopsis: Lovely teen Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman) is steeped in the excessive, pink-clad culture of the San Fernando Valley, complete with... [More]
Directed By: Martha Coolidge

#117
#117
Adjusted Score: 85312%
Critics Consensus: Though there was controversy over the choice of casting, Zellweger's Bridget Jones is a sympathetic, likable, funny character, giving this romantic comedy a lot of charm.
Synopsis: At the start of the New Year, 32-year-old Bridget (Renée Zellweger) decides it's time to take control of her life... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#116

Ruby Sparks (2012)
79%

#116
Adjusted Score: 86523%
Critics Consensus: Cleverly written and wonderfully acted, Ruby Sparks overcomes its occasional lags in pace with an abundance of charm and wit.
Synopsis: Young author Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano), once a literary darling, is having trouble composing his next novel. Following a therapist's... [More]

#115
Adjusted Score: 85363%
Critics Consensus: Miranda July's debut feature is a charmingly offbeat and observant film about people looking for love.
Synopsis: Single dad Richard (John Hawkes) meets Christine (Miranda July), a starving artist who moonlights as a cabbie. They awkwardly attempt... [More]
Directed By: Miranda July

#114
#114
Adjusted Score: 90162%
Critics Consensus: Bridget Jones's Baby might be late on arrival, but fans of the series should still find its third installment a bouncing bundle of joy.
Synopsis: Breaking up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) leaves Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) over 40 and single again. Feeling that she... [More]
Directed By: Sharon Maguire

#113
#113
Adjusted Score: 86587%
Critics Consensus: A trite but refreshing and comical spin on nature of love.
Synopsis: Jessica (Jennifer Westfeldt) is at the end of her emotional rope. She happens upon an intriguing personal ad, whose only... [More]

#112
#112
Adjusted Score: 85508%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A chocolate maker falls in love with a gifted worker.... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Améris

#111

Clueless (1995)

#111
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school's pecking scale.... [More]
Directed By: Amy Heckerling

#110
#110
Adjusted Score: 89307%
Critics Consensus: It never lives up to the first part of its title, but Crazy, Stupid, Love's unabashed sweetness -- and its terrifically talented cast -- more than make up for its flaws.
Synopsis: Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the American dream. He has a good job, a beautiful house, great children and... [More]
Directed By: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

#109

Working Girl (1988)
84%

#109
Adjusted Score: 86936%
Critics Consensus: A buoyant corporate Cinderella story, Working Girl has the right cast, right story, and right director to make it all come together.
Synopsis: Savvy New York City receptionist Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) gives her conniving boss, Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver), an excellent business... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#108

Don Jon (2013)
80%

#108
Adjusted Score: 87224%
Critics Consensus: Don Jon proves to be an amiable directing debut for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and a vivacious showcase for his co-star, Scarlett Johansson.
Synopsis: New Jersey bartender Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) knows what's important: his friends, his family, his car, his church, his sexual... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

#107
#107
Adjusted Score: 86203%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Schatze Page, Loco Dempsey and Pola Debevoise (Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe) are three women on a mission: They... [More]
Directed By: Jean Negulesco

#106

The Sure Thing (1985)
86%

#106
Adjusted Score: 88509%
Critics Consensus: Though its final outcome is predictable, The Sure Thing is a charming, smartly written, and mature teen comedy featuring a breakout role for John Cusack.
Synopsis: Gib (John Cusack), a college freshman, keeps striking out with women. When he learns that a beautiful Californian (Nicollette Sheridan)... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#105

Sixteen Candles (1984)
84%

#105
Adjusted Score: 86085%
Critics Consensus: Significantly more mature than the teen raunch comedies that defined the era, Sixteen Candles is shot with compassion and clear respect for its characters and their hang-ups.
Synopsis: With the occasion all but overshadowed by her sister's upcoming wedding, angst-ridden Samantha (Molly Ringwald) faces her 16th birthday with... [More]
Directed By: John Hughes

#104

Results (2015)
85%

#104
Adjusted Score: 87347%
Critics Consensus: Results moves stubbornly at its own deliberate pace, but the well-chosen cast -- and writer-director Andrew Bujalski's insightful observations -- offer rich rewards for patient viewers.
Synopsis: Personal trainers (Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders) are charged with whipping a newly wealthy and highly unmotivated slob (Kevin Corrigan) into... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Bujalski

#103

Notting Hill (1999)
83%

#103
Adjusted Score: 87296%
Critics Consensus: A rom-com with the right ingredients, Notting Hill proves there's nothing like a love story well told -- especially when Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts are your leads.
Synopsis: William Thacker (Hugh Grant) is a London bookstore owner whose humdrum existence is thrown into romantic turmoil when famous American... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#102
#102
Adjusted Score: 87365%
Critics Consensus: Sharp, witty, and charming, The Truth About Cats and Dogs features a standout performance from Janeane Garofalo.
Synopsis: Abby (Janeane Garofalo) hosts a popular radio show about pets. When Brian (Ben Chaplin) calls in to ask about his... [More]
Directed By: Michael Lehmann

#101

An Ideal Husband (1999)
85%

#101
Adjusted Score: 85880%
Critics Consensus: Brevity is the soul of wit, eh? This adaptation gets to the nitty gritty of Wilde's stage piece and plays on eternal human foibles.
Synopsis: Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) is a respected government official and a loving husband. His friend, Lord Arthur Goring (Rupert... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Parker

#100
Adjusted Score: 87432%
Critics Consensus: There's Something About Mary proves that unrelentingly, unabashedly peurile humor doesn't necessarily come at the expense of a film's heart.
Synopsis: Ted's (Ben Stiller) dream prom date with Mary (Cameron Diaz) never happens due to an embarrassing injury at her home.... [More]

#99

Emma (1996)

#99
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel, pretty socialite Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) entertains herself by playing matchmaker for... [More]
Directed By: Douglas McGrath

#98

Jerry Maguire (1996)
84%

#98
Adjusted Score: 89299%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by dazzling performances from Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renée Zellweger, as well as Cameron Crowe's tender direction, Jerry Maguire meshes romance and sports with panache.
Synopsis: When slick sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) has a crisis of conscience, he pens a heartfelt company-wide memo that... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#97
#97
Adjusted Score: 88826%
Critics Consensus: Superbly acted and satisfyingly engaging, Your Sister's Sister subverts rom-com conventions with sensitive direction, an unconventional screenplay, and a big heart.
Synopsis: A man (Mark Duplass) falls into bed with his best friend's (Emily Blunt) sister (Rosemarie DeWitt), leading to an unexpected... [More]
Directed By: Lynn Shelton

#96

Funny Ha Ha (2003)
88%

#96
Adjusted Score: 87738%
Critics Consensus: This modest, unpretentious character study astutely captures the emotional states of the 20-something slacker.
Synopsis: After graduating from college, Marnie (Kate Dollenmayer) is living in Boston. Looking for temporary work while trying to figure out... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Bujalski

#95

Saving Face (2004)
86%

#95
Adjusted Score: 88933%
Critics Consensus: A charming tale of a love affair that overcomes cultural taboos.
Synopsis: Wil (Michelle Krusiec) is a lesbian, but she not dare tell her widowed mother, Hwei-lan (Joan Chen), or her very... [More]
Directed By: Alice Wu

#94
#94
Adjusted Score: 88505%
Critics Consensus: A beguiling tragicomedy, Vicky Cristina Barcelona charms with beautiful views of the Spanish city and a marvelously well-matched cast.
Synopsis: Americans Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) arrive in Spain for a summer vacation at a friend's (Patricia Clarkson)... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#93

Pat and Mike (1952)
85%

#93
Adjusted Score: 88331%
Critics Consensus: Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy take competition to a romantic-comic highpoint in this elegantly directed sports comedy by George Cukor.
Synopsis: Pat Pemberton (Katharine Hepburn), a college athletics instructor, enters a number of golf matches against female professionals. She holds her... [More]
Directed By: George Cukor

#92

Harold and Maude (1971)
85%

#92
Adjusted Score: 89694%
Critics Consensus: Hal Ashby's comedy is too dark and twisted for some, and occasionally oversteps its bounds, but there's no denying the film's warm humor and big heart.
Synopsis: Cult classic pairs Cort as a dead-pan disillusioned 20-year-old obsessed with suicide and a loveable Gordon as a fun-loving 80-year-old... [More]
Directed By: Hal Ashby

#91
#91
Adjusted Score: 89981%
Critics Consensus: James L. Brooks and Jack Nicholson, doing what they do best, combine smart dialogue and flawless acting to squeeze fresh entertainment value out of the romantic-comedy genre.
Synopsis: Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is an obsessive-compulsive writer of romantic fiction who's rude to everyone he meets, including his gay... [More]
Directed By: James L. Brooks

#90

Beginners (2010)

#90
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After his mother dies, Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is stunned when his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer), recently diagnosed with terminal cancer,... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mills

#89
#89
Adjusted Score: 90295%
Critics Consensus: With ample laughs and sharp performances, Forgetting Sarah Marshall finds just the right mix of romantic and raunchy comedy.
Synopsis: Struggling musician Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) is better-known as the boyfriend of TV star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). After she... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#88

Plus One (2019)
88%

#88
Adjusted Score: 90201%
Critics Consensus: Plus One reinvigorates the rom-com with an entertaining outing elevated by well-matched leads and a story that embraces and transcends genre clichés.
Synopsis: Longtime single friends agree to be each other's plus one at every wedding they are invited to.... [More]
Directed By: Jeff Chan, Andrew Rhymer

#87

Arthur (1981)
88%

#87
Adjusted Score: 90250%
Critics Consensus: Dudley Moore brings a boozy charm to Arthur, a coming of age tale for a wayward millionaire that deploys energetic cast chemistry and spiffy humor to jovial effect.
Synopsis: Wealthy New York City playboy Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore) is perpetually drunk and completely rudderless. Dutifully supported by his sharp-tongued... [More]
Directed By: Steve Gordon

#86
#86
Adjusted Score: 89298%
Critics Consensus: Unlike many romantic comedies, the charming Italian for Beginners feels natural and genuinely heart-warming.
Synopsis: "Italian for Beginners" follows the stories of six insecure singles whose lives interweave one dreary Copenhagen winter. Soon after arriving... [More]
Directed By: Lone Scherfig

#85
#85
Adjusted Score: 89520%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Thirty-something Isabelle "Izzy" Grossman (Amy Irving) spends her time going from her tiny, solitary West Side apartment to that of... [More]
Directed By: Joan Micklin Silver

#84
#84
Adjusted Score: 89704%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In the midst of a summer heat wave, New Yorker Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) ships his wife, Helen (Evelyn Keyes),... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#83

The Fairy (2011)
90%

#83
Adjusted Score: 91659%
Critics Consensus: Nearly as light and magical as its namesake, La Fée (The Fairy) casts a fizzy comedic spell whose sweet charms include a pleasantly tart undercurrent.
Synopsis: A hotel clerk (Dominique Abel) falls in love with a woman (Fiona Gordon) who walks up to his front desk... [More]

#82

Roxanne (1987)
88%

#82
Adjusted Score: 89840%
Critics Consensus: Though its sweetness borders on sappiness, Roxanne is an unabashedly romantic comedy that remains one of Steve Martin's funniest films.
Synopsis: In this modern take on Edmond Rostand's classic play "Cyrano de Bergerac," C. D. Bales (Steve Martin) is the witty,... [More]
Directed By: Fred Schepisi

#81
#81
Adjusted Score: 82802%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: French private investigator Claude Chavasse (Maurice Chevalier) discovers his client's wife has been having an affair with an American playboy,... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#80

Happiest Season (2020)
82%

#80
Adjusted Score: 95288%
Critics Consensus: A jolly good time with heartfelt performances and more than enough holiday cheer, all you'll want for Christmas is Happiest Season.
Synopsis: This romantic comedy is about longtime lesbian couple Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis), who made plans to go... [More]
Directed By: Clea DuVall

#79

Show Me Love (1998)
90%

#79
Adjusted Score: 91716%
Critics Consensus: A naturalistic depiction of teenage life, Show Me Love has a charming, authentic feel.
Synopsis: Teens Elin (Alexandra Dahlström) and Agnes (Rebecca Liljeberg) are schoolmates. Elin is upbeat and popular, while Agnes is morose and... [More]
Directed By: Lukas Moodysson

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 92447%
Critics Consensus: Steve Carell's first star turn scores big with a tender treatment of its titular underdog, using raunchy but realistically funny comedy to connect with adult audiences.
Synopsis: Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is an amiable single guy who works at a big-box store. Living alone, 40-year-old Andy spends... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#77

2 Days in Paris (2007)
88%

#77
Adjusted Score: 91380%
Critics Consensus: Delpy proves not only to be an adept actress, but makes her mark as a writer and director in this thought-provoking comedy that breaks the romantic comedy mold.
Synopsis: A European vacation was intended to repair the tattered relationship between American Jack (Adam Goldberg) and French native Marion (Julie... [More]
Directed By: Julie Delpy

#76
Adjusted Score: 79162%
Critics Consensus: An artfully assembled cast, lovely set design, and direction solidly in service of the source material make The Importance of Being Earnest an adaptation that works.
Synopsis: Algernon Moncrieff (Michael Denison) is surprised to discover that his affluent friend -- whom he knows as "Ernest" -- is... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Asquith

#75

Chasing Amy (1997)

#75
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Holden and Banky are best friends and authors of a popular comic book. Holden falls in love with Alyssa, who... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Smith

#74

Top Five (2014)
86%

#74
Adjusted Score: 92783%
Critics Consensus: As smart, funny, and trenchant as writer-director-star Chris Rock's best standup work, Top Five is a career highlight for its creator -- and one of the comedy standouts of 2014.
Synopsis: Though he began in stand-up comedy, Andre Allen (Chris Rock) hit the big-time as the star of a trilogy of... [More]
Directed By: Chris Rock

#73
#73
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tess Harding (Katharine Hepburn) is a progressively-minded political journalist. Sam Craig (Spencer Tracy) is a sports writer with very traditional... [More]
Directed By: George Stevens

#72
#72
Adjusted Score: 92880%
Critics Consensus: Lighthearted to a fault, Much Ado About Nothing's giddy energy and intimate charm make for an entertaining romantic comedy -- and a Shakespearean adaptation that's hard to resist.
Synopsis: After a successful campaign against his rebellious brother, Don John (Sean Maher), Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) visits the governor of... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#71
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), greeting-card writer and hopeless romantic, is caught completely off-guard when his girlfriend, Summer (Zooey Deschanel), suddenly dumps... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Thief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) and pickpocket Lily (Miriam Hopkins) are partners in crime and love. Working for perfume company... [More]
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

#69
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this Shakespearean farce, Hero (Kate Beckinsale) and her groom-to-be, Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard), team up with Claudio's commanding officer,... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#68

Maggie's Plan (2015)
86%

#68
Adjusted Score: 97300%
Critics Consensus: With a typically absorbing performance from Greta Gerwig leading the way, Maggie's Plan gives rom-com sensibilities a smart, subversive twist.
Synopsis: A woman (Greta Gerwig) falls in love with a married man (Ethan Hawke), then devises a strategy to reunite him... [More]
Directed By: Rebecca Miller

#67

Long Shot (2019)
81%

#67
Adjusted Score: 99821%
Critics Consensus: A sharp and deceptively layered comedy that's further fueled by the odd couple chemistry of its leads, this Long Shot largely hits its marks.
Synopsis: Fred Flarsky is a gifted and free-spirited journalist who has a knack for getting into trouble. Charlotte Field is one... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

#66

Splash (1984)
91%

#66
Adjusted Score: 93085%
Critics Consensus: A perfectly light, warmly funny romantic comedy that's kept afloat by Ron Howard's unobtrusive direction and charming performances from Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah.
Synopsis: A young boy saved from drowning by a beautiful mermaid, falls in love with her 20 years later when she... [More]
Directed By: Ron Howard

#65
#65
Adjusted Score: 94704%
Critics Consensus: Lighthearted and sweet, The Purple Rose of Cairo stands as one of Woody Allen's more inventive -- and enchantingly whimsical -- pictures.
Synopsis: Unhappily married Depression-era waitress Cecilia (Mia Farrow) earns the money while her inattentive husband, Monk (Danny Aiello), blows their meager... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#64
#64
Adjusted Score: 94427%
Critics Consensus: A charming romantic comedy with political bite, Rob Reiner's American President features strong lead performances and some poignant observations of politics and media in the 1990s.
Synopsis: With the end of his first term in sight, widowed U.S. President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) knows that overwhelming public... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#63
#63
Adjusted Score: 94303%
Critics Consensus: It contains some ugly anachronisms, but Blake Edwards is at his funniest in this iconic classic, and Audrey Hepburn absolutely lights up the screen.
Synopsis: Based on Truman Capote's novel, this is the story of a young woman in New York City who meets a... [More]
Directed By: Blake Edwards

#62
#62
Adjusted Score: 94234%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Soon after Lenny (Charles Grodin) marries Lila (Jeannie Berlin), the needy and unrefined side of her personality begins to emerge,... [More]
Directed By: Elaine May

#61

Waitress (2007)
89%

#61
Adjusted Score: 96325%
Critics Consensus: Sweet, smart, and quirky, Waitress hits the right, bittersweet notes through this romantic comedy through its witty script and a superb performance by Keri Russell.
Synopsis: Jenna (Keri Russell) works in a diner in a small Southern town and is a genius at creating luscious desserts,... [More]
Directed By: Adrienne Shelly

#60

Amélie (2001)

#60
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: "Amélie" is a fanciful comedy about a young woman who discretely orchestrates the lives of the people around her, creating... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

#59

Trainwreck (2015)
84%

#59
Adjusted Score: 94990%
Critics Consensus: Trainwreck drags commitment out of all but the most rom-com-phobic filmgoers with sharp humor, relatable characters, and hilarious work from Amy Schumer.
Synopsis: Ever since her father drilled into her head that monogamy isn't realistic, magazine writer Amy (Amy Schumer) has made promiscuity... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#58
#58
Adjusted Score: 93262%
Critics Consensus: As emotionally rich as it is eye-catching, Strictly Ballroom uses its infectious energy as the fuel for a modern dance classic with all the right moves.
Synopsis: A top ballroom dancer pairs with a plain, left-footed local girl when his maverick style earns him the disdain of... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#57

Pillow Talk (1959)
93%

#57
Adjusted Score: 95267%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Playboy songwriter Brad Allen's (Rock Hudson) succession of romances annoys his neighbor, interior designer Jan Morrow (Doris Day), who shares... [More]
Directed By: Michael Gordon

#56

Belle Epoque (1992)
95%

#56
Adjusted Score: 95742%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As Spain sits on the precipice of civil war in 1930, Fernando (Jorge Sanz) opts to go AWOL from the... [More]
Directed By: Fernando Trueba

#55

Sabrina (1954)
93%

#55
Adjusted Score: 97485%
Critics Consensus: With its humorous script and its stars' immense charm, Sabrina remains a resonant romantic gem.
Synopsis: Chauffeur's daughter Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) returns home from two years in Paris a beautiful young woman, and immediately catches the... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#54
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Three successive family Thanksgiving dinners mark time for Hannah (Mia Farrow), her younger sisters Lee (Barbara Hershey) and Holly (Dianne... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#53

L.A. Story (1991)

#53
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Harris K. Telemacher (Steve Martin) has the easiest job in the world: he's a TV weatherman in Los Angeles, where... [More]
Directed By: Mick Jackson

#52
#52
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Two researchers have come to San Francisco to compete for a research grant in music. The man seems a bit... [More]
Directed By: Peter Bogdanovich

#51

Obvious Child (2014)
90%

#51
Adjusted Score: 96844%
Critics Consensus: Tackling a sensitive subject with maturity, honesty, and wit, Obvious Child serves as a deeply promising debut for writer-director Gillian Robespierre.
Synopsis: An immature, newly unemployed comic (Jenny Slate) must navigate the murky waters of adulthood after her fling with a graduate... [More]
Directed By: Gillian Robespierre

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 96779%
Critics Consensus: Warm, funny, and quietly profound, Appropriate Behavior serves as a thoroughly compelling calling card for writer, director, and star Desiree Akhavan.
Synopsis: A secretly bisexual Brooklynite (Desiree Akhavan) from a traditional Persian family struggles with her identity and the disintegration of her... [More]
Directed By: Desiree Akhavan

#49
#49
Adjusted Score: 96269%
Critics Consensus: Rob Reiner's touching, funny film set a new standard for romantic comedies, and he was ably abetted by the sharp interplay between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.
Synopsis: In 1977, college graduates Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) share a contentious car ride from Chicago... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#48

High Fidelity (2000)
91%

#48
Adjusted Score: 96311%
Critics Consensus: The deft hand of director Stephen Frears and strong performances by the ensemble cast combine to tell an entertaining story with a rock-solid soundtrack.
Synopsis: Rob Gordon (John Cusack) is the owner of a failing record store in Chicago, where he sells music the old-fashioned... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#47
#47
Adjusted Score: 97811%
Critics Consensus: Ang Lee's funny and ultimately poignant comedy of manners reveals the filmmaker's skill across genres.
Synopsis: Wai-Tung (Winston Chao) and his boyfriend (Mitchell Lichtenstein) live happily as a gay couple in New York City. Wai-Tung has... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#46
Adjusted Score: 98498%
Critics Consensus: To All the Boys I've Loved Before plays by the teen rom-com rules, but relatable characters and a thoroughly charming cast more than make up for a lack of surprises.
Synopsis: A teenage girl's love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her life.... [More]
Directed By: Susan Johnson

#45

Stolen Kisses (1968)
96%

#45
Adjusted Score: 98561%
Critics Consensus: Stolen Kisses is a fine feature follow-up to The 400 Blows, transforming Antoine Doinel into a sympathetic, silly, and romantic figure that carries to the series' end.
Synopsis: The third in a series of films featuring François Truffaut's alter-ego, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), the story resumes with Antoine... [More]
Directed By: François Truffaut

#44

About a Boy (2002)
93%

#44
Adjusted Score: 99090%
Critics Consensus: About a Boy benefits tremendously from Hugh Grant's layered performance, as well as a funny, moving story that tugs at the heartstrings without tilting into treacle.
Synopsis: A comedy-drama starring Hugh Grant as Will, a rich, child-free and irresponsible Londoner in his thirties who, in search of... [More]
Directed By: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz

#43

Knocked Up (2007)
89%

#43
Adjusted Score: 100057%
Critics Consensus: Knocked Up is a hilarious, poignant and refreshing look at the rigors of courtship and child-rearing, with a sometimes raunchy, yet savvy script that is ably acted and directed.
Synopsis: Rising journalist Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) hits a serious bump in the road after a one-night stand with irresponsible slacker... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 100593%
Critics Consensus: Worthwhile as both a well-acted ensemble piece and as a smart, warm statement on family values, The Kids Are All Right is remarkable.
Synopsis: Lesbian couple Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) have been together for almost 20 years and have two teenage... [More]
Directed By: Lisa Cholodenko

#41

Moonstruck (1987)
94%

#41
Adjusted Score: 98239%
Critics Consensus: Led by energetic performances from Nicolas Cage and Cher, Moonstruck is an exuberantly funny tribute to love and one of the decade's most appealing comedies.
Synopsis: No sooner does Italian-American widow Loretta (Cher) accept a marriage proposal from her doltish boyfriend, Johnny (Danny Aiello), than she... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#40

Enchanted (2007)
93%

#40
Adjusted Score: 100282%
Critics Consensus: A smart re-imagining of fairy tale tropes that's sure to delight children and adults, Enchanted features witty dialogue, sharp animation, and a star turn by Amy Adams.
Synopsis: Banished by an evil queen, Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) from a fairy-tale world lands in modern Manhattan, where music, magic... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Lima

#39

Bridesmaids (2011)

#39
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Annie (Kristen Wiig) is a single woman whose own life is a mess, but when she learns that her lifelong... [More]
Directed By: Paul Feig

#38

Dave (1993)
95%

#38
Adjusted Score: 99814%
Critics Consensus: Ivan Reitman's refreshingly earnest political comedy benefits from an understated, charming script and a breezy performance by Kevin Kline.
Synopsis: Shifty White House chief of staff Bob Alexander (Frank Langella) hatches a scheme to use a double for the president... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#37

Adam's Rib (1949)
96%

#37
Adjusted Score: 99919%
Critics Consensus: Matched by Garson Kanin's witty, sophisticated screenplay, George Cukor, Spencer Tracy, and Katherine Hepburn are all in top form in the classic comedy Adam's Rib.
Synopsis: A courtroom rivalry finds its way into the household when prosecuting lawyer Adam Bonner (Spencer Tracy) faces off against his... [More]
Directed By: George Cukor

#36

The Awful Truth (1937)
93%

#36
Adjusted Score: 98788%
Critics Consensus: Great comic direction by Leo McCarrey and memorable onscreen chemistry from stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunne make this screwball comedy a charmer.
Synopsis: Jerry (Cary Grant) and Lucy (Irene Dunne) are a married couple who doubt each other's fidelity: Jerry suspects Lucy and... [More]
Directed By: Leo McCarey

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 100118%
Critics Consensus: Endlessly witty, visually rapturous, and sweetly romantic, Shakespeare in Love is a delightful romantic comedy that succeeds on nearly every level.
Synopsis: "Shakespeare in Love" is a romantic comedy for the 1990s set in the 1590s. It imaginatively unfolds the witty, sexy... [More]
Directed By: John Madden

#34
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lovable Englishman Charles (Hugh Grant) and his group of friends seem to be unlucky in love. When Charles meets a... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell

#33

Love, Simon (2018)
92%

#33
Adjusted Score: 105346%
Critics Consensus: Love, Simon hits its coming-of-age beats more deftly than many entries in this well-traveled genre -- and represents an overdue, if not entirely successful, milestone of inclusion.
Synopsis: Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier, it's a little more complicated. He hasn't told his... [More]
Directed By: Greg Berlanti

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 100354%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Overanxious film critic Allan (Woody Allen) sinks into a depression after his wife leaves him. Concerned, his married friends Dick... [More]
Directed By: Herbert Ross

#31

Say Anything... (1989)
98%

#31
Adjusted Score: 100654%
Critics Consensus: One of the definitive Generation X movies, Say Anything... is equally funny and heartfelt -- and it established John Cusack as an icon for left-of-center types everywhere.
Synopsis: In a charming, critically acclaimed tale of first love, Lloyd (John Cusack), an eternal optimist, seeks to capture the heart... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#30

Juno (2007)

#30
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When precocious teen Juno MacGuff becomes pregnant, she chooses a failed rock star and his wife to adopt her unborn... [More]
Directed By: Jason Reitman

#29

Ninotchka (1939)
97%

#29
Adjusted Score: 100205%
Critics Consensus: With Greta Garbo proving her comedy chops in the twilight of her career, Ninotchka is a can't-miss classic.
Synopsis: A no-nonsense diplomat of the Soviet Union, Nina Ivanovna "Ninotchka" Yakushova (Greta Garbo) arrives in Paris to ensure the sale... [More]
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

#28

Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
100%

#28
Adjusted Score: 101521%
Critics Consensus: Love and hope soar in Cyrano De Bergerac, an immensely entertaining romance featuring Gerard Depardieu as his peak.
Synopsis: Soldier and poet Cyrano de Bergerac (Gérard Depardieu) is in love with Roxane (Anne Brochet), but he's too ashamed to... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Paul Rappeneau

#27

Manhattan (1979)
94%

#27
Adjusted Score: 100021%
Critics Consensus: One of Woody Allen's early classics, Manhattan combines modern, bittersweet humor and timeless romanticism with unerring grace.
Synopsis: Director Woody Allen's love letter to New York City stars Allen as frustrated television writer Isaac Davis, a twice-divorced malcontent... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 102341%
Critics Consensus: Silver Linings Playbook walks a tricky thematic tightrope, but David O. Russell's sensitive direction and some sharp work from a talented cast gives it true balance.
Synopsis: After losing his job and wife, and spending time in a mental institution, Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) winds up living... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#25

Broadcast News (1987)
98%

#25
Adjusted Score: 102087%
Critics Consensus: Blockbuster dramatist James L. Brooks delivers with Broadcast News, fully entertaining with deft, deep characterization.
Synopsis: Intelligent satire of American television news. A highly strung news producer finds herself strangely attracted to a vapid anchorman even... [More]
Directed By: James L. Brooks

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Brassy blonde moll Billie Dawn (Judy Holliday) hits Washington, D.C., with her unscrupulous millionaire sugar daddy, Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford),... [More]
Directed By: George Cukor

#23

Bull Durham (1988)
97%

#23
Adjusted Score: 102352%
Critics Consensus: Kevin Costner is at his funniest and most charismatic in Bull Durham, a film that's as wise about relationships as it is about minor league baseball.
Synopsis: In Durham, N.C., the Bulls minor league baseball team has one asset no other can claim: a poetry-loving groupie named... [More]
Directed By: Ron Shelton

#22

Indiscreet (1958)
100%

#22
Adjusted Score: 101871%
Critics Consensus: Indiscreet spins rom-com gold out of a premise just sturdy enough to set the stage for typically delightful work from its wonderfully well-matched leads.
Synopsis: Famous theater actress Anna Kalman (Ingrid Bergman) has resigned herself to her single life, believing that she has missed her... [More]
Directed By: Stanley Donen

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Insurance worker C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) lends his Upper West Side apartment to company bosses to use for extramarital affairs.... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#20

Enough Said (2013)
95%

#20
Adjusted Score: 102975%
Critics Consensus: Wryly charming, impeccably acted, and ultimately quite bittersweet, Enough Said is a grown-up movie in the best possible way.
Synopsis: Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a divorced single parent, seems generally happy but dreads her daughter's departure for college. Unexpectedly, Eva begins... [More]
Directed By: Nicole Holofcener

#19

Some Like It Hot (1959)
94%

#19
Adjusted Score: 99188%
Critics Consensus: Some Like It Hot: A spry, quick-witted farce that never drags.
Synopsis: After witnessing a Mafia murder, slick saxophone player Joe (Tony Curtis) and his long-suffering buddy, Jerry (Jack Lemmon), improvise a... [More]
Directed By: Billy Wilder

#18

Groundhog Day (1993)
97%

#18
Adjusted Score: 103334%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sweet, and inventive, Groundhog Day highlights Murray's dramatic gifts while still leaving plenty of room for laughs.
Synopsis: Phil (Bill Murray), a weatherman, is out to cover the annual emergence of the groundhog from its hole. He gets... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#17

Desk Set (1957)
100%

#17
Adjusted Score: 99214%
Critics Consensus: Desk Set reunites one of cinema's most well-loved pairings for a solidly crafted romantic comedy that charmingly encapsulates their timeless appeal.
Synopsis: Bunny Watson (Katharine Hepburn) is a library reference clerk stuck in a dead-end relationship with a boring television executive (Gig... [More]
Directed By: Walter Lang

#16

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
94%

#16
Adjusted Score: 103633%
Critics Consensus: With Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant at their effervescent best, Bringing Up Baby is a seamlessly assembled comedy with enduring appeal.
Synopsis: Harried paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) has to make a good impression on society matron Mrs. Random (May Robson), who... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#15

Palm Springs (2020)
95%

#15
Adjusted Score: 111116%
Critics Consensus: Strong performances, assured direction, and a refreshingly original concept make Palm Springs a romcom that's easy to fall in love with.
Synopsis: Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over... [More]
Directed By: Max Barbakow

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. He must find her after a... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#13

My Man Godfrey (1936)
97%

#13
Adjusted Score: 102599%
Critics Consensus: A class satire in a class of its own, My Man Godfrey's screwball comedy is as sharp as the social commentary is biting.
Synopsis: Fifth Avenue socialite Irene Bullock needs a "forgotten man" to win a scavenger hunt, and no one fits that description... [More]
Directed By: Gregory La Cava

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 103994%
Critics Consensus: Deftly directed by Ernst Lubitsch from a smart, funny script by Samson Raphaelson, The Shop Around the Corner is a romantic comedy in the finest sense of the term.
Synopsis: Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) are employees at Matuschek and Company, a general store in Budapest.... [More]
Directed By: Ernst Lubitsch

#11

Holiday (1938)
100%

#11
Adjusted Score: 104421%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Johnny (Cary Grant) seems like a solid match for Julia (Doris Nolan), the socialite daughter of Edward Seton (Henry Kolker).... [More]
Directed By: George Cukor

#10

Roman Holiday (1953)
97%

#10
Adjusted Score: 102392%
Critics Consensus: With Audrey Hepburn luminous in her American debut, Roman Holiday is as funny as it is beautiful, and sets the standard for the modern romantic comedy.
Synopsis: Overwhelmed by her suffocating schedule, touring European princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn) takes off for a night while in Rome. When... [More]
Directed By: William Wyler

#9

City Lights (1931)
96%

#9
Adjusted Score: 103109%
Critics Consensus: One of the best underdog romance movies ever, with an ending that will light up any heart.
Synopsis: A hapless but resilient tramp (Charlie Chaplin) falls in love with a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) on the tough... [More]
Directed By: Charles Chaplin

#8

The Artist (2011)
95%

#8
Adjusted Score: 109162%
Critics Consensus: A crowd-pleasing tribute to the magic of silent cinema, The Artist is a clever, joyous film with delightful performances and visual style to spare.
Synopsis: In the 1920s, actor George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a bona fide matinee idol with many adoring fans. While working... [More]
Directed By: Michel Hazanavicius

#7

Annie Hall (1977)
96%

#7
Adjusted Score: 104369%
Critics Consensus: Filled with poignant performances and devastating humor, Annie Hall represents a quantum leap for Woody Allen and remains an American classic.
Synopsis: Comedian Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) examines the rise and fall of his relationship with struggling nightclub singer Annie Hall (Diane... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 112580%
Critics Consensus: With a terrific cast and a surfeit of visual razzle dazzle, Crazy Rich Asians takes a satisfying step forward for screen representation while deftly drawing inspiration from the classic -- and still effective -- rom-com formula.
Synopsis: Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised... [More]
Directed By: Jon M. Chu

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When hard-charging New York newspaper editor Walter Burns discovers that his ex-wife, investigative reporter Hildy Johnson, has gotten engaged to... [More]
Directed By: Howard Hawks

#4

The Lady Eve (1941)
100%

#4
Adjusted Score: 106003%
Critics Consensus: A career highlight for Preston Sturges, The Lady Eve benefits from Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda's sparkling chemistry -- and a script that inspired countless battle-of-the-sexes comedies.
Synopsis: It's no accident when wealthy Charles (Henry Fonda) falls for Jean (Barbara Stanwyck). Jean is a con artist with her... [More]
Directed By: Preston Sturges

#3
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: This classic romantic comedy focuses on Tracy Lord (Katharine Hepburn), a Philadelphia socialite who has split from her husband, C.K.... [More]
Directed By: George Cukor

#2

The Big Sick (2017)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 120986%
Critics Consensus: Funny, heartfelt, and intelligent, The Big Sick uses its appealing leads and cross-cultural themes to prove the standard romcom formula still has some fresh angles left to explore.
Synopsis: Kumail is a Pakistani comic, who meets an American graduate student named Emily at one of his stand-up shows. As... [More]
Directed By: Michael Showalter

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 116297%
Critics Consensus: Capturing its stars and director at their finest, It Happened One Night remains unsurpassed by the countless romantic comedies it has inspired.
Synopsis: In Frank Capra's acclaimed romantic comedy, spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) impetuously marries the scheming King Westley, leading her... [More]
Directed By: Frank Capra


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For almost two decades, Judd Apatow has been the king of a certain kind of American movie comedy – as he described it to Rotten Tomatoes, films about people who are stuck and whose lives are falling apart… because “life falling apart is usually funny.” In movies like Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Trainwreck, the writer and director has given us some of recent cinema’s funniest moments, from a chest-waxing scene that almost cost Steve Carell his nipple to an epic breakdown in the principal’s office courtesy of a foul-mouthed Melissa McCarthy in This Is 40. His latest comedy, The King of Staten Island, is a semi-autobiographical feature starring and co-written by Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, and it packs in Apatow’s signature mix of big laughs and big feels.

Ahead of the movie’s release, Apatow sat down with us to break down the mechanics and stories behind some of the funniest scenes he’s put on the screen – including an messy pool fight that’s getting the biggest laughs from audiences who’ve seen his newest film.

#1
Adjusted Score: 94294%
Critics Consensus: The King of Staten Island's uncertain tone and indulgent length blunt this coming-of-age dramedy's ability to find itself, but Pete Davidson's soulful performance holds it together.
Synopsis: An aimless slacker dreams of becoming a tattoo artist while living with his mother and hanging out with his friends... [More]
Directed By: Judd Apatow
Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount

(Photo by Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount)

In 2019, Rotten Tomatoes turns 21, and to mark the occasion we’re celebrating with a series of features that look back at the brightest moments on screen of the past two decades – and one year – and the things that have us excited for the future. 

Since its inception in 1987, South by Southwest (a.k.a. SXSW or just “South By”) has grown to become one of the most celebrated pop culture events in the world, with its unparalleled mix of music, film, and digital media. It’s one of the best places to scope out both established artists and rising talents, as well as all kinds of innovations in interactive entertainment.

In other words, it should be no surprise that some heavy hitters have graced the stages and screens in Austin, TX, and this is especially true of the film division. In the past 21 years, SXSW has served as the proving ground for up-and-coming filmmakers hoping to make a big splash, and it’s also played a big role in hyping up eventual cult classics and box office hits. With that in mind, and with SXSW 2019 kicking off this weekend, we decided to look back at some of the most memorable movie premieres that have happened at the festival during RT’s existence. Read on for a trip down memory lane at South By.


Shotgun Freeway: Drives Through Lost L.A. (1995) : A Documentary Hero Takes His First Steps

Director Morgan Neville didn’t even know that SXSW had a film festival component when he was looking to premiere his first documentary, a sometimes breezy and wistful look at an evolving Los Angeles through the lens of the people who shaped it. Variety’s review of the premiere decried the film’s listlessness and its “graceless and too abrupt” editing, the latter of which actually tapped into the associative, nonlinear style that would set Neville’s unorthodox documentarian work apart from the pack. Neville remembers the premiere as “low key” and intimate, surrounded by fellow “neophyte filmmakers” showing their wares. Shotgun Freeway was named runner up for Best Documentary Feature that year, and Neville would go on to win an Oscar (for 20 Feet from Stardom) and an Emmy (for Best of Enemies) and then break box office records with his film Won’t You Be My Neighbor?.


Four Letter Words (2000) : Director Sean Baker Makes His Mark

Sean Baker’s first feature followed a group of white suburban young men in a slice-of-life tale, showing the blunt inner workings of the male psyche. It’s not surprising that the town that embraced Slacker fell in love with Baker and his objective, almost journalistic film work. As Baker told SXSW World: “I might not have kept going if it wasn’t for SXSW.” Reviews for the low-budget gem weren’t necessarily glowing, but they hit on Baker’s strength of presenting a character’s world with honesty, a trait he would carry on as he delved into the lives of disparate women in the San Fernando Valley (Starlet), Chinese immigrants in New York (Take Out), a trans sex worker in L.A. (Tangerine), and single moms in Kissimmee (The Florida Project).


Thinkfilm courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Thinkfilm courtesy Everett Collection)

Spellbound (2002) 97%: A Documentary D-E-L-I-G-H-T (And Awards Contender)

Director Jeffrey Blitz wasn’t even present for the first SXSW screening of his spelling bee documentary. Nervous, he’d taken a flight out from a commercial job and arrived outside the theater just as it was letting out. He told SXSW World: “I heard [people] raving about this spelling bee documentary they had just seen,” and thought it was a prank. Blitz’s first feature, Spellbound won the Documentary Feature Jury Award and became the festival’s first breakout hit, winning an Emmy and getting nominated for an Academy Award.


Hellboy (2004) 81%: GDT Earns Thunderous Applause, Cements SXSW’s Midnight Cred

Guillermo del Toro had already directed cult classics Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, and Blade II before he took aim at the film adaptation of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comic. The unofficial midnight world premiere of the film brought del Toro, Mignola, and star Ron Perlman to Austin, and the ending credits were met with what the Austin Chronicle called “thunderous cheers.” The film became a box office success, grossing nearly $100 million and spawning a sequel, but it also sealed SXSW as a midnights-friendly destination.


The Puffy Chair (2005) 77%: Enter the Duplass Bros. 

It’s difficult to overstate the impact the Duplass brothers had on both filmmaking and the film culture of SXSW. The Puffy Chair would mark their first feature, but the pair had already premiered a few of their shorts at the fest, creating a kind of community with like-minded filmmakers like Joe Swanberg and Andrew Bujalski, who premiered Kissing on the Mouth and Mutual Appreciation, respectively, alongside The Puffy Chair. From this year forward, SXSW was known as the place for Mumblecore, and the Duplass brothers would go on to bring their style to the mainstream.


The Comedians of Comedy (2005) 44%: Open Mic Night With A Generation’s Defining Comics

Film festivals haven’t always been receptive to comedy, especially if the film is a documentary about lesser-known comics popular only on the alt-comedy circuits. But director Michael Blieden found a home for his debut documentary feature with SXSW and brought Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Maria Bamford, and Brian Posehn to the masses of Austin with a premiere that included live stand-up sets by the film’s subjects. The Austin Chronicle called the film “incisively bawdy,” and the well-received live performance set the stage for the massive influx of comedy acts that would flock to the festival every year. Oswalt, Galifianakis, Bamford, and Posehn became some of the defining comics of their generation.


Universal Pictures courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Universal Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

Knocked Up (2007) 89%: Apatow Finds His Testing Ground

Judd Apatow raked in the praise for his directorial debut, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but the idea of a comedy with a runtime more than two hours long was still a novelty when his follow-up Knocked Up tested the waters in Austin at a sneak preview. Variety called it “uproarious,” and attendees noted the laughter was so loud in the theater that a good number of the punchlines couldn’t even be heard. Viewers of that preview wondered whether Paramount would cut the film down to under 90 minutes — nope! SXSW became Apatow’s proving ground that longer, more thoughtful comedy could play to wide audiences.


Nights and Weekends (2008) 85%: Greta Gerwig Makes Her Directing Debut

With a budget of $15,000, Mumblecore comedy Nights and Weekends brought Joe Swanberg back to SXSW, but this time with a relatively unknown co-director/co-writer/co-star — Greta Gerwig. Swanberg and Gerwig had collaborated before on 2007’s Hannah Takes the Stairs, but this film would mark Gerwig’s directorial debut. Noel Murray at the AV Club said, “Swanberg and Gerwig also have a gift for constructing the kind of moments rarely seen in contemporary American independent film.” Gerwig had always intended to become a playwright, and though it would be another nine years before she would direct again (Lady Bird), that effort would earn her Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director.


Medicine for Melancholy (2008) 84%: Barry Jenkins, Before Moonlight

SXSW was no stranger to the type of romantic verité filmmaking Austinite Richard Linklater revived from the Left Bank French New Wave with Before Sunrise. But Barry Jenkins’ Medicine for Melancholy pried the genre from white hands and showed two African American characters talking from dawn ’til dusk about art, culture, and love. The film starred the unknown Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins, but the buzz out of SXSW was enough to propel Medicine to multiple Indie Spirit Awards nominations, inspiring a generation of black filmmakers, including Justin Simien, Lena Waithe, Ava DuVernay, and Terence Nance.


Tiny Furniture (2010) 80%: Lena Dunham Follows Up on the Promise

Lena Dunham’s hour-long feature debut Creative Nonfiction showed so much promise at 2008’s SXSW that when she returned in 2010 with a proper full-length feature, Tiny Furniture, critics were already hip to the wünderkind’s comic sensibilities. The film took the top narrative feature prize, with Dunham accepting a breakout award for women directors, leading IFC Films to acquire and distribute Tiny Furniture. Dunham’s relationship with SXSW continues, and the fest has become a destination for young female auteurs, including Julia Hart, Stella Meghie, and Nijla Mu’min.


Liam Daniel/Screen Gems courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Liam Daniel/Screen Gems courtesy Everett Collection)

Attack the Block (2011) 90%: Joe Cornish Earns Peter Jackson Comparisons

By the time Joe Cornish premiered his feature debut, Attack the Block, SXSW programming had already become known for its Midnights section. Fans of director Edgar Wright knew the Shaun of the Dead helmer had executive produced for Cornish and packed the theater in anticipation of a Wright-anointed genre film, but the general reception was that Attack was so much better than they could even hope for. Writing for Cinemablend, Matt Patches called the film a throwback to early Peter Jackson and said audiences emitted an “audible, pleasantly shocked yelp” throughout the gory action sequences.


Undefeated (2011) : An Oscar Winner Starts Its Journey

Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin knew they were “no-name directors” when they applied to SXSW with their documentary debut about a struggling Memphis football team. The Austin Chronicle said, “Undefeated isn’t just a great sports doc, it’s a great documentary. Period.” The directors credit the festival with helping the film sell for a seven-figure deal after an all-night auction, get distribution, and earn widespread acclaim, leading to their winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary. “That definitely changed our lives, and it all started at SXSW,” Lindsay and Martin told SXSW World.


Bridesmaids (2011) : A Work in Progress Works Wonders

Paul Feig had already made a name for himself acting in and directing numerous comedies, but when he brought his work-in-progress Bridesmaids to SXSW for a midnight premiere, he says not a single person in the audience knew anything about the film. On top of that, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph weren’t completely known outside of their individual runs on SNL. But Feig said to SXSW World that when the audience burst into laughter that “it was possibly the greatest night of my career.” Bridesmaids introduced audiences to superstar Melissa McCarthy and raked in a whopping $288 million at the box office.


Spring Breakers (2012) 67%: A24 Makes a Big Play  

At the SXSW world premiere of Harmony Korine’s teen day-glo crime thriller, only a few audience members squeamish from the provocateur’s film walked out, but those who stayed raucously applauded such an audacious movie. At the same time, fledgling distribution company A24 was trying to make a name for itself and saw the perfect opportunity in Korine. They purchased the film right out of the festival, marking themselves as a company to take a chance on artists and weirdos and bolstering SXSW as a destination for film acquisitions.


Cinedigm courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Cinedigm courtesy Everett Collection)

Short Term 12 (2013) 98%: The Stars of Tomorrow in a Move That Sets the New Standard

Director Destin Daniel Cretton specifically aimed to finish his feature about a young staff worker in a residential treatment facility for the SXSW deadlines. Producer Asher Goldstein said it felt like the perfect “cultural fit” for this story about simple people trying to live their lives, starring a cast of complete then-unknowns, including Brie Larson, Stephanie Beatriz, Rami Malek, and Lakeith Stanfield. Before the film even premiered at SXSW, sales negotiations began, signaling Short Term 12 was something special. It won both the Grand Jury and Audience Award for Narrative Feature, and prompted The Atlantic in 2014 to ask “Who’s This Year’s Short Term 12?” at SXSW.


The Invitation (2015) 89%: Karyn Kusama’s Thrilling Comeback

Director Karyn Kusama stripped her style down to its indie roots for her horror-thriller The Invitation. She’d faced an uphill battle with high-budget flops, like Aeon Flux and Jennifer’s Body, but burst back on the scene and out of director jail with a psychological stunner she filmed on a bare budget in a single location. Midnighter attendees of the premiere immediately buzzed about the film, with Justin Chang, writing for Variety, calling it a “perfectly pitched exercise in psychological dread.” The Invitation hit many best-of lists when it premiered theatrically, but Kusama credits SXSW with the relaunch of her career. “SXSW means discovery, it means surprise, and it means a jolt of energy, which was there in abundance for us,” she told SXSW World.


Krisha (2015) 95%: Why You Stay for the Q&A

Trey Edward Shults’ short film Krisha won big at SXSW 2014. When he stretched that drama — about a woman who reconnects with her family over a disastrous Thanksgiving weekend — into a feature, Shults naturally wanted it to premiere at SXSW as well. For the Q&A portion, Shults brought his stars, his real-life aunt Krisha Fairchild and mother Robyn Fairchild, for an intimate talk about family and filmmaking. “I’ve been a professional actor my whole life, but I had no ambition,” Krisha said, before crediting her nephew for sparking a creative flame in her. The film won the Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Filmmaking, and the audience went wild when Shults’ entire cast/family stormed the stage.


Tower (2016) 99%: A Tense, Moving Hometown Achievement

Keith Maitland is an Austin director whose films revolve around the people, places, and major events of Texas. His documentary Tower was based on a Texas Monthly story from Pamela Colloff, which walked people through the terrifying 96-minute ordeal of Charles Whitman climbing the UT Austin tower and opening fire on a campus of innocent people. The SXSW premiere was an emotional affair, with Eric Kohn of IndieWire saying that Tower “imbues the catastrophe with renewed urgency.” The film won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for Documentary Feature, and Maitland told SXSW World that “sharing this deeply emotional story here, where it happened, was one of the most cathartic cinematic experiences I’ve ever witnessed.”


Steve Dietl/Warner Bros.

(Photo by Steve Dietl/Warner Bros.)

Keanu (2016) 78%: Key and Peele Meet Expectations

Before there was Get Out, there was Peter Atencio’s crime comedy Keanu, co-written by Alex Rubens and Jordan Peele in his feature-writing debut. Some fans of the stars’ Comedy Central show Key & Peele waited in line for three hours for the midnight premiere, and Peele and Keegan-Michael Key began throwing out stuffed cats to an audience dreading a time change and an hour lost the next morning. The reception to the film was only warm, but it was enough to propel Peele into writing his next feature, which would earn him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.


Most Beautiful Island (2017) 94%: An Ending for the Ages 

Ana Asencio’s gritty, spare, 80-minute thriller marked a wicked debut for the writer-director-producer-star, who’d spent a decade perfecting the script. And SXSW proved a perfect match for a 16 mm film about an immigrant woman caught in the most tragic day of her life. At the premiere, audiences gasped, shook by tension and an unnerving ending. Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films snapped up the rights and said, “Most Beautiful Island is a memorable film, which captured hearts, minds, and the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW,” and although Asencio hasn’t released a follow-up yet, that ending she wrote earned a place on Vulture’s “100 Scares That Shaped Horror.”


A Quiet Place (2018) 96%: Silence on Screen, Screams in the Theater as Box Office Monster Is Born

John Krasinski’s horror debut earned what Variety writer Ramin Setoodeh called “enough shrieks inside the theater to please [the] director” at the film’s SXSW premiere. As Setoodeh pointed out, SXSW had become a proving ground for out-of-the-box studio releases, and the fanfare inside the theater that night signaled to Paramount Pictures they’d have a hit on their hands. Eric Kohn of IndieWire wrote that “the movie maintains a minimalist dread throughout, with every footstep or sudden move carrying the potential for instant death.” A Quiet Place went on to earn $340 million at the box office, making SXSW a reliable litmus test yet again.


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“Babies!! They’re babies!!” Yes, Shredder, they are babies, and one day when you’re all grown-up, you too will appreciate the miracle of birth. Just ask Bridget Jones’ Baby — whose mother endured ugly Christmas sweaters and middle-aged manfights and a previous sequel where we assume stuff happened — crowning this Friday after gestating years in development hell. But because Rotten Tomatoes is never one to pass up a cause célèbre, here’s this week’s gallery of 24 most momentous movie babies!

With this weekend’s War Dogs, Jonah Hill teams up with Miles Teller to tell the reality-inspired tale of two guys out to strike it rich as arms dealers. It’s just the latest in a series of eclectic roles for Hill, who made his name as a member of the Apatow comedy stable before branching out into more dramatic fare, and we’re here to celebrate it with a fond look back at some of the brightest critical highlights from his growing filmography. It’s time for Total Recall!


 Funny People (2009) 69%

Years after they roomed together as young comics with showbiz dreams, Adam Sandler and writer/director/producer Judd Apatow reunited for 2009’s Funny People, which surrounded Sandler with a crowd of comedic talent that included multiple members of the Apatow stable — including Seth Rogen, who plays an aspiring comedian who lucks into a friendship with Sandler’s embittered superstar, and Hill, who plays Rogen’s roommate and a fellow veteran of the stand-up circuit whose own career ambitions end up getting tangled in the complicated relationship between Rogen and Sandler’s characters. The movie’s 146-minute length turned off a number of critics, but it was just right for Ben Lyons of At the Movies, who wrote that “Apatow has always found a balance of heart and humor in his best films, and Funny People is no exception.”

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Get Him to the Greek (2010) 72%

Hill and Russell Brand triggered a few laughs during their scenes together in Forgetting Sarah Marshall — so when it was decided that Brand would reprise his character in the Marshall spinoff Get Him to the Greek, it was only natural that the duo should be reunited. Here, Brand’s Aldous Snow must be shepherded to a crucial gig through a landmine of bad decisions and irresponsible behavior, with responsibility for his whereabouts falling to an increasingly overmatched label rep played by Hill. “The movie’s a good, rude commercial comedy,” argued the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips. “How many good movies have we even seen this year?”

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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) 79%

Hill earned his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his work in The Wolf of Wall Street, a luridly over-the-top Martin Scorsese epic that uses the real-life exploits of disgraced stockbroker Jordan Belfort as the launchpad for a wild-eyed look at modern capitalism — and three hours of drug-fueled insanity. Always entertaining as part of a duo, Hill turns in some of his best work as a foil for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Belfort, playing the comparatively less unscrupulous part in a gonzo dramatization of one of Wall Street’s more infamous cautionary tales. “For three hours the movie operates at a ridiculous comedic pitch. You never forget you’re at the circus,” Wesley Morris wrote for Grantland. “You never lose sight of the lawlessness, the reckless pleasure, the sheer lunacy and lack of regulation.”

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Cyrus (2010) 80%

The 21st century has brought us no shortage of comedies about schlubby man-children, but Cyrus is something different. Rather than going broad and over-the-top with the story of an overgrown mama’s boy (Hill) who plants himself squarely between his mom (Marisa Tomei) and her well-meaning new suitor (John C. Reilly), writer-directors Jay and Mark Duplass gave their seemingly tired premise a fresh mumblecore spin, playing up the sphincter-tightening awkwardness of the situation and trusting their talented cast to imbue the characters with three-dimensional honesty. “I’ve seldom seen,” mused the Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern, “a film in which three intelligent, articulate people make so many penetrating observations about themselves, and address their bizarre situation so directly, without providing, or indeed possessing, the slightest clue.”

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This Is the End (2013) 83%

We’ve seen plenty of movies about the end of civilization, but they’ve all focused on the apocalyptic problems of ordinary people while neglecting to imagine what those last few days on earth might be like for celebrities. Enter This Is the End, which imagines what it might be like if disaster struck Los Angeles while James Franco was hosting a house party. Featuring Hill, Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride — among plenty of others — playing fictionalized (and generally obnoxious) versions of themselves, it combines a fresh take on the apocalyptic comedy with the fun of watching movie stars make fun of themselves. As J.R. Jones argued for the Chicago Reader, “Their big joke is to literalize the Book of Revelations, but snaking around this is a biting contempt for the entertainment business, their own bad movies, and the social privilege these confer.”

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21 Jump Street (2012) 85%22 Jump Street (2014) 84%

A movie about a TV show that wasn’t exactly a classic in the first place has no business being awesome, and a buddy-cop picture doesn’t seem like the most natural environment for testing out Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s screen chemistry. All of which is pretty much exactly why the Jump Street franchise has had such a blockbuster time of it on the big screen: the duo’s easy banter, coupled with the freewheeling attitude of a pair of films that went meta on their medium in increasingly bonkers ways, added up to two critical and commercial hits. Whether we’ll ever get that rumored Jump Street/Men in Black crossover remains an open question, but for now, we’ve got the movies that moved the Atlantic’s Christopher Orr to write, “Self-referential irony is hardly a new gimmick, having served as the underlying premise for such franchises as Scream and Austin Powers, but rarely has it been indulged with such fervor.”

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Hail, Caesar! (2016) 85%

The Coen brothers have a terrific eye for talent and enough clout to hire just about any actor they see fit, so the opportunity to star in one of their films isn’t something many stars would take lightly — even if the role in question isn’t necessarily the biggest in the movie. For example, here’s Hail, Caesar!, a Coens spectacular that uses a bustling ensemble of famous faces (including George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, and — you guessed it — Jonah Hill) to tell the madcap tale of a doofus actor in ’50s Hollywood who gets himself kidnapped, spurring his studio to enlist the efforts of their in-house fixer (inspired by real-life movie biz legend Eddie Mannix) to secure his return. That description just scratches the surface of an old-school singing, dancing extravaganza that simultaneously celebrates and sends up old-school cinema; if the end result is a little unwieldy, most critics felt its deficiencies were far more than outweighed by its charms. “This,” opined Richard Roeper for the Chicago Sun-Times, “is one of my favorite movies ever made about making movies.”

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Superbad (2007) 88%

A high school loss-of-virginity flick in the grand tradition of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and American Pie, Superbad teamed Hill and Michael Cera with newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse as desperately horny teens on a quest to secure booze for a house party. It may have been embarrassingly familiar, but screenwriter Seth Rogen and his writing partner, Evan Goldberg, nonetheless managed to squeeze fresh laughs (and plenty of ticket receipts) from it — not to mention kudos from critics like the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle, who wrote, “for pure laughs, for the experience of just sitting in a chair and breaking up every minute or so, Superbad is 2007’s most successful comedy.”

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Knocked Up (2007) 89%

After making a brief appearance in Judd Apatow’s 40-Year-Old Virgin, Hill took on a more substantial role in the follow-up, Knocked Up, which paired rumpled slacker Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) with gorgeous E! Network employee Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) for a look at what can happen when you head to a club, have a few too many drinks, and don’t give a lot of thought to who comes home with you. (This is Hollywood, of course, so what ends up happening is everlasting love, but not before a lot of funnier, more unpleasant consequences.) An enormous box office success, Knocked Up offered Hill an opportunity to reel off a few funny lines, cemented Apatow’s standing as a purveyor of fine adult comedies, and earned the adoration of critics such as Stephanie Zacharek of Salon, who called it “Hilarious from moment to moment, but leaving behind both a warm glow and a sting. This is a picture that refuses to fetishize either the ability to conceive or the significance of our place in the universe once we’ve done so.”

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Moneyball (2011) 94%

As a (freakishly entertaining) by-the-numbers account of how the Oakland A’s used newly adapted metrics to turn conventional baseball wisdom on its head, Michael Lewis’ Moneyball seemed like one of the least cinematic bestsellers to have its film rights optioned by a major studio — and after directors David Frankel and Steven Soderbergh departed the project, it looked like it might be destined for the scrap heap. But with Bennett Miller behind the cameras and Hill demonstrating his Oscar-nominated dramatic chops opposite Brad Pitt — not to mention an Aaron Sorkin screenplay — it ended up being not only a six-time Academy Awards nominee, but a $110 million box office hit. “Baseball fans know this story,” admitted USA Today’s Claudia Puig, “but Miller puts it all in fascinating context. This is a thinking person’s baseball movie, a more complex version of the inspirational sports story.”

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Judd Apatow isn’t just a producer, of course; he’s also a director and writer, and many of his movies find him occupying all three chairs. Still, it’s his list of production credits that runs longest – and may contain a few surprises for those who haven’t been following his career closely – so we thought this weekend’s Apatow-produced Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping would be the perfect time to give them the Total Recall treatment. We did get a little technical, and cut out the films where he served as an executive producer (bye bye, Heavyweights, Celtic Pride, Kicking and Screaming, and The TV Set) as well as associate producer (thus excising 1992’s Crossing the Bridge), and popular favorites like Anchorman, Pineapple Express, and Step Brothers didn’t make the cut. Don’t worry, though – that still leaves us plenty to discuss. Ready to get started? It’s Total Recall time!


Get Him to the Greek (2010) 72%

Get-Him-To-The-Greek
Before he launched a second career as an agitator for social justice and economic equality, Russell Brand was a pretty funny guy — and although his particular shtick definitely wasn’t right for every role, it could be quite effective in the proper context. For example, there’s Brand’s scene-stealing supporting turn in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, in which he played the cheerfully hedonistic rock star that the title character hooks up with after dumping poor Jason Segel — a role he reprised a couple years later for Get Him to the Greek. Here, Brand’s Aldous Snow must be shepherded to a crucial gig through a landmine of bad decisions and irresponsible behavior, with responsibility for his whereabouts falling to an increasingly overmatched label rep (Jonah Hill). “The movie’s a good, rude commercial comedy,” argued the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips. “How many good movies have we even seen this year?”

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Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) 74%

Walk-Hard
Judd Apatow productions are known for their skillful use of humor that feels real — sometimes squirm-inducingly — so the news that he was co-writing and producing a mock biopic of a legendary musician named Dewey Cox (and that Cox would be played by the mercilessly funny John C. Reilly) was greeted with enthusiasm by critics and fans hungry for more 40-Year-Old Virgin-style laughs. Ultimately, expectations for Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story proved slightly unreasonable; although critics applauded the film, moviegoers chose not to follow Apatow down this particular path, and it failed to recoup its budget. Still, despite being one of Apatow’s rare commercial misfires, Walk Hard is one of the better-reviewed entries on his resume, and boasts the approval of no less a critical luminary than Roger Ebert, who applauded its restraint when he wrote, “instead of sending everything over the top at high energy, like Top Secret or Airplane!, they allow Reilly to more or less actually play the character, so that, against all expectations, some scenes actually approach real sentiment.”

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Pee-wee's Big Holiday (2016) 80%

Pee-Wees-Big-Holiday
Pee-Wee Herman entered the 1990s as a fairly tired joke (and an unwillingly dirty one at that), but given enough time and nostalgia, almost everything old is new again. Herman’s creator, Paul Reubens, discovered as much after exhuming the character for a series of public appearances that led into a revival of his stage show — and a lengthy development process for a third Pee-Wee movie. Reubens ultimately hooked up with Apatow to produce Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday, a 2016 release that bowed on Netflix alongside its theatrical run. While the movie’s rollout might have been cutting edge, the story — and Pee-Wee himself — remained substantially the same as his heyday, adding up to a film offering a high-grade flashback to a franchise many critics remembered so fondly they were willing to let its narrative deficiencies slide. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s David Wiegand put it, “After all these years — his and ours — Pee-wee Herman is still a Peter Pan who can lead us back to innocence with a corny joke or a childish jape.”

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Begin Again (2013) 83%

Begin-Again
Judd Apatow isn’t the first person you’d think of to produce a movie from the guy who gave us the tenderly mournful indie drama Once, but that’s just what we got with 2014’s Begin Again — and it was pretty darn good, too. Admittedly, the movie offered something of a slicker spin on Once‘s story of two damaged souls connecting through music, but while there were similarities between the two films, they weren’t overwhelming. And as he had with his previous outing, Carney showed a tremendous flair for following the tentative, skipping beat of a developing relationship — not to mention a knack for assembling a fine cast (led here by Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, and Adam Levine) and a soundtrack worthy of repeat listens. “Carney deserves great credit for the movie’s clever, layered structure, and for resisting a few obvious plot turns along the way,” wrote Moira MacDonald for the Seattle Times. “Lightning doesn’t strike, but sunshine works, too.”

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Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) 83%

Forgetting-Sarah-Marshall
As the title of his latest feature suggests, Judd Apatow knows funny people — and he has a knack for working with his comedic leads at exactly the right time. After helping Steve Carell and Seth Rogen cross over to superstardom, Apatow added his magic producer’s touch to Jason Segel’s breakout feature, 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which deftly combined the elements we’ve come to expect from Apatow-branded comedies (painfully real humor, uncomfortable nudity) with utterly unique ingredients (singing vampire puppets). The results proved, once again, that if they’re assembled properly, movies that skirt the rim of lowbrow humor can squeeze a couple of hours’ worth of laughs out of even the most highfalutin critics. In his review, the Wall Street Journal’s Joe Morgenstern echoed Sarah Marshall‘s many accolades when he wrote, “Halfway through I realized that I’d lost most of my standards, maybe under my seat, and was enjoying the erratic evolution of the nonsense.”

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The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) 85%

40-Year-Old-Virgin
Judd Apatow seemed to come out of nowhere with 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin, his directorial debut — but the reality, of course, is that his ascension was far more gradual; he landed his first associate producers’ credit with 1992’s Crossing the Bridge, and his name surfaced throughout the 1990s and early aughts in connection with projects both well-received (The Larry Sanders Show, Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared) and, well, not (Celtic Pride, The Cable Guy). But Apatow’s signature brand of comedy didn’t really reach full bloom until Virgin — and its awkward pauses, creative profanity (“Kelly Clarkson!”), and off-the-wall pop culture gags (Asia! Michael McDonald!) arrived at the perfect moment for a moviegoing public starved for smart adult humor. The result left Steve Carell with a new level of fame, made Judd Apatow a household name, and helped resurrect the R-rated comedy. It didn’t do too badly with critics, either; Bill Muller of the Arizona Republic was solidly in line with the sentiments of his peers when he wrote that Virgin was “a nostalgic, sentimental and wholly bawdy comedy that will make you laugh until your sides hurt.”

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Trainwreck (2015) 84%

Trainwreck
Apatow has proven himself a reliable incubator for young comics over the years, and although he can’t take credit for the rise of Amy Schumer, there’s no denying the sharp eye for talent he again displayed when he hitched his wagon to her star for the 2015 hit Trainwreck. Directing from a script written by Schumer, Apatow once again helped assemble a picture offering a distaff twist on the boundary-pushing comedy he’d turned into big business a decade before — and although the story was basically just a gender reversal on the same old story about a lovable lout who finds happiness by growing up and embracing commitment, the end result was charming and well-written enough for the vast majority of critics to forgive the familiarity. In fact, argued the New York Post’s Sara Stewart, “Trainwreck is a corrective to a lot of outdated clichés. It’s very funny and sweet and even a little weepy, and it has maybe the best scene ever filmed of dirty talk gone wrong.”

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Superbad (2007) 88%

Superbad
Having been a staunch supporter of Seth Rogen’s from their days together on the set of Freaks and Geeks, Apatow was already well acquainted with Rogen’s comedic talents even before they teamed up to make a ton of box office cash with Knocked Up — which doubtless had a lot to do with why Apatow was interested in producing Superbad, a high school loss-of-virginity flick in the grand tradition of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and American Pie. Superbad‘s premise, which teamed Jonah Hill and Michael Cera with newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse on a quest to secure booze for a house party, may have been embarrassingly familiar, but Rogen and his writing partner, Evan Goldberg, nonetheless managed to squeeze fresh laughs (and plenty of ticket receipts) from it — not to mention kudos from critics like the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle, who wrote, “for pure laughs, for the experience of just sitting in a chair and breaking up every minute or so, Superbad is 2007’s most successful comedy.”

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Knocked Up (2007) 89%

Knocked-Up
Schlubby dudes that inexplicably manage to score with babes have been a comedy staple for decades, on screens both small (Newhart, According to Jim) and silver (everything Woody Allen has ever done). Into that rich tradition stepped 2007’s Knocked Up, Apatow’s wildly successful directorial follow-up to The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which paired rumpled slacker Ben Stone (Seth Rogen) with gorgeous E! Network employee Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl) for a look at what can happen when you head to a club, have a few too many drinks, and don’t give a lot of thought to who comes home with you. (This is Hollywood, of course, so what ends up happening is everlasting love, but not before a lot of funnier, more unpleasant consequences.) An enormous box office success, Knocked Up kickstarted Rogen’s career, cemented Apatow’s standing as a purveyor of fine adult comedies, and earned the adoration of critics such as Stephanie Zacharek of Salon, who called it “Hilarious from moment to moment, but leaving behind both a warm glow and a sting. This is a picture that refuses to fetishize either the ability to conceive or the significance of our place in the universe once we’ve done so.”

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Bridesmaids (2011)

Bridesmaids
Apatow made a name for himself with crass humor largely brought to life by man-child protagonists, but the bros took a back seat for 2011’s Bridesmaids, in which director Paul Feig corralled a crew of hilarious ladies — including Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, and Kristen Wiig (who co-wrote the script with Annie Mumolo) — to depict their bawdy misadventures during the days leading up to a wedding. After helping make the box office safe for R-rated comedy, Apatow helped prove audiences were just as willing to turn out for grown-up laughs of the female-driven variety — and nearly $300 million in receipts later, the end result looked like the beginning of a paradigm shift in Hollywood. “It’s not a movie for people looking for a decorous night at the movies,” admitted the Newark Star-Ledger’s Stephen Whitty. “It is a film, though, for folks eager for some good dirty jokes, some refreshingly real female characters – and, just maybe, a new comic voice.”

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With this weekend’s Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Seth Rogen continues a busy year that started with Kung Fu Panda 3 and will find him returning to theaters in just a few short weeks with the animated Sausage Party. In honor of all that activity — and a filmography that’s grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade — we decided to dedicate this week to taking a fond look back at some of the hardworking Mr. Rogen’s best-loved efforts. It’s time for Total Recall!


Freaks and Geeks 100%

Unlike a lot of actors who end up starring in films or TV shows about high school students, Rogen was still just a teenager when he responded to the casting call for Judd Apatow’s Freaks and Geeks. It turned out to be a fateful decision: landing the role of Ken Miller on the sadly short-lived series led to a productive friendship with Apatow, who offered Rogen a role in his follow-up show, Undeclared, and then absorbed him into his so-called comedic “frat pack” after that series also met an untimely end. For Rogen fans who want an early look at the future star in his formative years, Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared offer a glimpse of what was to come — and for the rest of us, it’s just really entertaining television.

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The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) 85%

The R-rated comedy went through some lean years in the 1990s and early 2000s, but by the middle of the decade, studios were willing to bet on grown-ups wanting to laugh again, and Judd Apatow — and, in turn, Seth Rogen — gave them plenty to laugh at, starting with 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Rogen plays second fiddle here, appearing as a pot-smoking friend and co-worker to Steve Carell’s titular paragon of chastity, but this is no ordinary supporting role — not only does he get some of the movie’s most memorable lines (including a particularly quote-friendly exchange with Paul Rudd’s character), but he earned a production credit on the film, showing some of the behind-the-scenes acumen that has helped make him more of a budding mogul than your average 26-year-old movie star. Whether or not people went to see it for Rogen, The 40-Year-Old Virgin was a huge hit, making more than $175 million at the box office, and critics enjoyed it too: The Globe and Mail’s Jason Anderson spoke for many of his peers when he wrote, “If only losing it was so good for everybody.”

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Knocked Up (2007) 89%

Two years after helping Steve Carell break a 40-year streak of sexual inactivity, Seth Rogen played a character on the verge of a different sort of threshold — namely, fatherhood — in Knocked Up. The movie also presented a career Rubicon of sorts for Rogen; after playing a secondary character in Virgin, he moved into the ranks of unconventional comedic leading men with Knocked Up, starring opposite Katherine Heigl as the ambition-deficient half of a couple thrown together by the unplanned results of a one-night stand. It was Rogen’s fourth project with Judd Apatow, and the basic, seemingly effortless likability that the director had seen in his star since their Freaks and Geeks days resonated with audiences — to the tune of nearly $220 million in box office receipts — and helped earn Knocked Up some of the best reviews of the year. Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek was one of the many critics who found it Fresh, praising what she saw as “a picture that refuses to fetishize either the ability to conceive or the significance of our place in the universe once we’ve done so.”

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Superbad (2007) 88%

It isn’t at all uncommon for high school buddies to daydream about growing up and making it big together — or for aspiring screenwriters to pen their first scripts before they’re old enough to vote. Most of them don’t have the patience to nurture an idea for over a decade, or the luck necessary to take your idea to the box office — but that’s exactly what Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg did with Superbad. Of course, it didn’t hurt having a pair of leads as buzz-friendly as Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, or being able to introduce Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the one and only McLovin — but Superbad‘s real strength lies in the way Rogen and Goldberg’s sweetly funny script blends honest moments with gross-out gags and absurdist humor (including a surreal extended cameo from Rogen and Bill Hader as a pair of spectacularly incompetent police officers). At 87 percent on the Tomatometer, Superbad received no shortage of love from critics like Roger Ebert, who pronounced it “A four-letter raunch-a-rama with a heart.”

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Pineapple Express (2008) 68%

After channeling the spirit of the 1980s teen comedy for Superbad, Rogen and his screenwriting partner revisited another of the decade’s favorite genres for Pineapple Express: the action buddy comedy. It was marketed as a stoner comedy, and while it certainly contained a fair amount of weed-themed humor, Express was essentially an homage to such squabbling-friends-in-peril classics as Stir Crazy and Running Scared — although it bears pointing out that none of those movies had the benefit of a brief, spectacularly profane appearance by Ed Begley, Jr. Critics weren’t unanimous in their support of the $101 million hit, which starred Rogen and James Franco as a ganja-loving process server and his dealer on the run from a lunatic crimelord — and the theme song, sadly, did not result in a “Back in Time”-sized hit for Huey Lewis — but most scribes agreed with TIME’s Richard Corliss, who deemed Express “A comedy that brings a nicely deflating note of realism to action-film mayhem, as well as being one of the few drug movies you don’t have to be high to enjoy.”

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50/50 (2011)

Cancer, generally speaking, isn’t all that funny. So kudos to screenwriter Will Reiser for finding the humor in his own diagnosis — and then using the experience as the grist for 50/50, a dramedy about a pair of best pals (played by Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose relationship is irrevocably altered after one of them learns he has cancer. Director Jonathan Levine’s deft handling of the story’s tonal shifts keeps the movie from straining for laughs or straying into mawkish territory, while Rogen offers able support for Gordon-Levitt as the best friend of a guy who’s fighting for his life. “What ensues is Beaches meets Pineapple Express,” wrote Mary Elizabeth Williams for Salon. “Which, I’ve got to tell you, is pretty much what living with cancer is like.”

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Take This Waltz (2011) 79%

Although he’ll probably always be best known for his comedic roles, Rogen’s a fine dramatic actor when given the opportunity. Case in point: 2012’s Take This Waltz, a quiet look at domestic ennui from director Sarah Polley. Here, Rogen stars as Lou Rubin, a guy whose seemingly idyllic marriage to freelance writer Margot (Michelle Williams) is knocked off its axis after she finds herself drawn to their neighbor (Luke Kirby). “In the end,” wrote Michael O’Sullivan for the Washington Post, “it’s a story of misplaced faith. In what? Not love exactly, but in the rush of infatuation, and the illusion that this feeling can be maintained, indefinitely, without crashing.”

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This Is the End (2013) 83%

We’ve seen plenty of movies about the end of civilization, but they’ve all focused on the apocalyptic problems of ordinary people while neglecting to imagine what those last few days on earth might be like for celebrities. Enter This Is the End, which imagines what it might be like if disaster struck Los Angeles while James Franco was hosting a house party. Featuring Franco, Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride — among plenty of others — playing fictionalized (and generally obnoxious) versions of themselves, it combines a fresh take on the apocalyptic comedy with the fun of watching movie stars make fun of themselves. As J.R. Jones argued for the Chicago Reader, “Their big joke is to literalize the Book of Revelations, but snaking around this is a biting contempt for the entertainment business, their own bad movies, and the social privilege these confer.”

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Neighbors (2014) 73%

Neighbors is built from an assortment of parts that will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever seen a snobs-vs.-slobs R-rated comedy — yet the sum total works anyway, thanks to the efforts of director Nicholas Stoller and an overall charming cast. Rogen and Rose Byrne star as Mac and Kelly Radner, homeowners who decide to fight back after their lives are made miserable by the occupants of the frat house next door (led by Zac Efron), setting off a suburbanite battle that manages to gleefully offend while remembering to keep its characters somewhat identifiably human. As Betsy Sharkey put it for the Los Angeles Times, “This raunchy unrooting of a settled suburban idyll exposes the considerable angst of emerging adulthood with a kind of scatological fervor designed to elicit oodles of inappropriate laughs.”

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Steve Jobs (2015) 85%

During the years following Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, the market was flooded with all manner of product devoted to analyzing the life and career of the Apple co-founder — to the point that, when Steve Jobs arrived in 2015, it might have seemed to many filmgoers like just another rehash of an already overfamiliar story. Which is unfortunate, because aside from its bad timing, this Danny Boyle-directed biopic has a lot going for it — including a script by Aaron Sorkin and an ace ensemble cast led by Michael Fassbender and supported by Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, and (as Jobs’ fellow Apple founder Steve Wozniak) Seth Rogen. “The dialogue crackles with wit, anger, and passion,” wrote James Berardinelli for ReelViews. “By matching Sorkin’s words with Boyle’s style and Fassbender’s talent, Steve Jobs has hit the trifecta.”

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75 Best Summer Blockbusters of All Time

In defense of the blockbuster, Rotten Tomatoes offers you Best Summer Movies, a countdown of the highest-rated wide releases to hit theaters during the hot season since the release of Jaws in 1975. We’re using a weighted formula that takes the Tomatometer, the number of reviews, and the year of release into account. In order to qualify, each movie needs at least 20 reviews, and to have been released wide in the months between May and August. Enough talk: grab an extra large soda and a bucket of popcorn and dive into RT’s Best Summer Movies!

 

 

Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis has a plan. “What I’ve decided is to choose recent films,” he explains to RT. “I do think that often people get stuck in always picking the five greatest films of all time, films they saw between the ages of 17 and 22, because that’s when you’re forming your opinions. I think I’ll talk about modern films, which aren’t necessarily the greatest films ever made, but are five great films.”

Modern films are certainly Curtis’ bread-and-butter. Best known for defining a genre with Four Weddings and a Funeral, the writer of Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary turned to feature directing in 2003 with Love, Actually — an entire career on the big-screen set in the here and now. The Boat that Rocked, out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK this week and soon to hit US cinemas retitled Pirate Radio, is his first ‘period’ film and he doesn’t go much further back in time than the swinging 60s.

On the small-screen, he’s Britain’s ruling king of comedy, giving us the ultimate history lesson through the various series of Blackadder, and defining comedy for the 80s and 90s through BBC favourites Mr. Bean, The Vicar of Dibley and Spitting Image. In 1985 he founded Comic Relief, which has raised £80m for good causes this year alone.

Read on to learn about the five films he can’t do without.


Let the Right One In (2008) 98%

“Very apt for now, because I think it’s just come out on DVD. I’m scared of horror films, and hardly ever see them, but I was just so haunted by the scene at the end at the swimming pool, about which I will say no more because my brain is still trying to work out what happened there. It just shows how, if you’ve got a really low budget, and a really serious intent, you can make people feel uncomfortable. It’s a weird, spooky, melancholy Swedish love story about vampires, which is a big subject at the moment, but it’s hard to imagine a better vampire film. So that would be my number one choice — delightful, strange and disjointing.

“That will be the only horror movie on any list of mine. The first time I saw The Exorcist, I had to sleep with the lights on for about four years, so horror is not for me.”

Lost in Translation (2003) 95%

“It seems to me that Sofia Coppola is incapable of producing an ugly frame; it’s just completely beautiful, from astonishing first shot to the final whisper. I think that Scarlett Johansson can be just fabulous, and in that she’s just fabulous, plainly beautiful all the way through. She was great in Match Point too, so very good. She gives that dreadful feeling of somebody that will weigh you down forever. And on top of that it’s a genuinely funny film, its got those fantastic bits, particularly the bit where [Bill Murray] is recording the ads, and it really is a comedy. And yet Bill Murray is so melancholy; so sad. After spending all my life in comedy, where you’re aware of all the grief and melancholy that accompanies being thought of as a charming and amusing person, I think it’s an almost perfect film, I think I’d put that in my top ten favourite films of all time. I love that film.”

Knocked Up (2007) 89%

“I don’t know why because I’m almost never in Los Angeles, but I went to the premiere of Knocked Up. Some cousin of Judd Apatow‘s was going to propose to his girlfriend, but was shy, so what Judd did was brought up the cousin and his girlfriend onto stage and Jack Black hid behind, knelt on the floor behind the cousin, and very noisily proposed to her. So the first time I saw the film I was in a very good mood having had such a brilliant start. But Knocked Up, like The Hangover which is also wonderful, is full of really really funny things; particularly the friends. When that group of friends is together, everyone has a sort of weird idiosyncratic joke which is perfectly expressed every time they appear, from the guy with the beard downwards.

There are so many other funny things — when Kristen Wiig is rude to Katherine Heigl when she gets her job, and she’s going on about how lucky she is to get the job, it’s completely hilarious. Both Seth Rogen and Katherine are so charming and funny, and it’s so modern, on the edge and hard; a real romantic film. I think that if romantic comedies are meant to be romantic and funny, then that’s a perfect example. It’s very relaxed and at ease with itself, and doesn’t try too hard, or doesn’t seem to be trying very hard, and I think that’s very much to do with how Judd makes his movies. I’m sure he knows exactly what he wants, but it does have a slightly improvisational edge to it, because he does work with people that he knows very well, so there’s a naturalness to it, and I think it’s a great modern film. I haven’t seen Funny People yet, but I have very high hopes for it, I’m looking forward to it a great deal. “

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

“This is one of my favourite films, and I’m going to almost insist that you say in this article that people must go and watch a song called Carol Brown, from the new series of Flight of the Conchords. It’s been directed by Michel Gondry, and it’s just so amazing; for the rest of the episode you can’t really see that it’s him, but up comes this dazzling thing. I just think for a movie with such a massive concept, that idea, that sort of fantasy, should be done by being completely realistic. In a way it’s like Let the Right One In – the office where they alter your mind feels like a ghastly dental surgery. So you’re in this weird mixture between something that feels terribly realistic, with Kirsten Dunst jumping up and down on a bed, absolutely normal, and yet it’s completely freakish and odd and had these spectacular special effects in it. I love the sort of downbeat-ness of the love story — the fact that, really, they’re sort of right for each other, but only because they’re not right for anyone else. I think it’s a genuinely great fantasy movie, a great love story, and Kate Winslet‘s hair is, after all, blue, so that’s obviously a good reason for seeing it. You’ve been on this massive ride, and it gets back to these people in a corridor, which I suppose is like — if you land on the moon, there’s just you on the moon, and I think there’s something profound about the whole thing.”

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) 90%

I’m going to break my rules for this one, and just put in one old movie. I still think that Animal House is misunderstood, although I do increasingly read about a generation of comedians saying it is the great film. Because I think it’s a brilliant comedy, with brilliant acting, with everybody at their best – Karen Allen at her cutest, Tim Matheson at his handsomest, John Belushi at his most mono-syllabic. So these extraordinary comic performances with just a series of amazing scenarios with amazing set-ups with the horse and the chainsaw, the dead girlfriend, them going to the toga party, and just everything about it. It’s boiled down to the funniest joke scenarios that there could possibly be. That fantastic Elmer Bernstein score, which could be from Patton.

“It seems to me like a really great, classic, funny character movie hiding in wolves clothing, pretending to be a big stupid old generic college movie, but it actually invented the genre, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a funnier version of those movies. Certainly when I was doing The Boat That Rocked, it was M*A*S*H on the one hand – very casual, conversational, just guys doing a weird job – and Animal House on the other – with big characterisations and set-pieces.. So we’ve got four moderns and one slightly older. Can I have one more? Am I allowed? Just for sorrow?”


I think we can let you have another film.

Richard Curtis: OK – The Son’s Room by Nanni Moretti. He was this kind of comedian when younger, and was always called Italy’s Woody Allen, and in a way he’s fulfilled that promise, because Woody Allen also made some very profound films. The Son’s Room is an amazingly gentle, completely sorrowful movie, which I don’t even know whether or not to recommend. It’s full of sadness but everyone who is thinking of having a family should see the film so that they know the risk, and everyone who has got a family should see the film so that they understand how in the middle of the most normal conversational world, sorrow can hit you. But it’s got the best music of any film I’ve seen and it’s got this Brian Eno track at the end. The movie can’t be resolved because it’s about grief that never ends, but somehow the music acts as some way back to normality. So I think The Son’s Room is the film I’ve been most struck by in a way, over the last ten years, the most truthful film I’ve seen.

Music in a film is obviously very important to you…

RC: Yeah, I don’t know. Strangely I watched The Godfather the other day, and the Godfather Soundtrack is extraordinary, it never stops. It’s either jazz music or orchestral music or exciting music, he never lets it go, and that’s the way he keeps the pace up. So I always wanted The Boat That Rocked to be an ecstatic movie. I remember at the end of Bridget Jones, the second one, where we were trying to choose which of the three songs to put at the end where she’s running after Colin Firth – in the end I just said, “Put them all in. Put all three. Let’s have Beyonce, let’s have The Shirelles, and let’s have Barry White.” So I like the idea of going for it, wall-to-wall. And in a way I’ve always thought of my films as being like a Madness album or like an ABBA album, full of delightful little scenarios and very high spirited bursts of things.

But as a writer, just as sort of autobiographically, I listen to music all the time while I’m writing. It always cheers me up and always lifts my spirits, and it always has. On The Boat That Rocked I just wanted to make a film about that feeling of what it’s like to be exhilirated day and night by pop music.

Does the music that you’re listening to end up in the movie when you’re writing?

RC: Yes, but the weird thing is when the music doesn’t. I wrote the whole of Love, Actually listening to one song, which is The Loving by XTC, which is a huge orchestral song about everyone in the world being full of love, but I didn’t put it in the film. Notting Hill was based around two songs, one of which was Wasting Time by Ron Sexsmith, and the other – very oddly I used to listen to it all the time because it exactly represented the pitch of the emotion I wanted in the film – was a version of Downtown Train by Everything But the Girl. That was what I wanted the film to feel like. I used that as the pattern and then threw it away, because there wasn’t actually a place for it in the film. But I often get the mood of what I’m writing from pop music.

Did you have any problems with rights for any of the songs you wanted to use in The Boat That Rocked?

RC: No. With The Boat That Rocked, we had a bit more money, so we got most of what we wanted. Some songs you just couldn’t get because they wanted something like a million pounds – those were the acts who just didn’t want their songs in movies. When Hugh Grant dances in Love, Actually, we wanted a Michael Jackson song we couldn’t get, because it was about a million pounds to use.

But on the whole, these days, I get what I want. My bad memories of The Tall Guy, the very first film I made, are thankfully in the past. It was meant to be structured around three songs by Madness. It was meant to start with Yesterday’s Men, go to The Sun and the Rain, then end with It Must Be Love, and that was the shape of the movie. But they could only afford one song, so we only had It Must Be Love, which was a great disappointment.

There’s a very funny bit in that movie where Jeff Goldblum sits down and listens to a radio and he’s heartbroken. He switches it and on comes a really sad song like Let the Heartaches Begin, so he switches it again and on comes another one called So Sad or Cry in the Rain or something, but if you listen carefully, they’re all sung by my friend Philip, because we couldn’t afford any of the songs. We had to spend an hour in a studio to do one impression of Long John Baldry and one of the Everly Brothers. So in the old days we couldn’t get what we wanted, but now it’s easier.

The Boat that Rocked might be the first film I’ve seen with a double-CD soundtrack.

RC: And I don’t think that’s all of them either – we’ve had to leave out one or two songs from the middle of the movie that haven’t made it onto the soundtrack. But yeah, it was very passionate. What you realise when you’re making a film like that is that people do love their pop music, and as people are finding out now at festivals, living with pop is a great way of leading your life. When we made the movie, everyday when we went out on the boat, all 140 of us, and they blared pop music for an hour. The moment it was lunch we would put it on over the huge speakers, and on the way home we put in on the speakers, and it was an idyllic life.

And you were working with Bill Nighy, who we know is a huge music fan – that would have been fun…

RC: Yeah, Bill loves his pop music. He’s obsessed, at the moment, with a guy called Maxwell, who he says is a great genius, and has just had a huge hit in America. What was nice was that there was one or two songs that I picked that nobody had heard of, like Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells and All Over the World by Francoise Hardy. Everybody had one or two things they were absolutely delighted to meet in the film. And that was my aim, to have a mixture of very high-profile songs and songs that people didn’t know as well.
What’s next for you as a director?

RC: I’m doing a huge range of things, but I think my next movie is probably going to be a film about time travel, but it’ll be quite complicated so it’ll take a while to work out.

Lots of paradoxes to figure out?

RC: I’m not going to worry about things like that, but there are always going to be issues!

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